Without nostalgia, a Black/Jewish filmmaking team reveals the truth, even when it is painful. BLACKS AND JEWS goes behind the explosive headlines of the riots in Crown Heights; the Million Man March on Washington; the controversy when Castlemount High School students in Oakland were ejected from a screening of Schindler's List; and "block busting" in Chicago (which was opposed by an interracial coalition). Penetrating interviews with leading critics and scholars including Clayborne Carson, Michael Lerner, Salim Muwakkil, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Cornel West are intercut with moving narratives that are representative of a range of contemporary Black-Jewish relationships. The film gives voice to all sides, airs divisions and illuminates common ground. It is the first documentary to look at how the media shapes and foments conflict, turning rhetoric between members of two historically oppressed groups into a symbol for America's racial divide.
Producer, director, writer Deborah Kaufman was Founder and Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the first, largest, and most prestigious Jewish film showcase in the world. She has been a programmer and board member of the multicultural Living Room Festival of Bay Area public television station KQED. She organized numerous seminars on Black/Jewish relations and ethnic stereotypes in film as well as film programs on intergroup relations. She has produced numerous short videos and a music video. She has been a consultant for film and video productions and a board member for multicultural arts and video organizations, including the Los Angeles Festival.,