Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin Between Two Worlds

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Gershon Baskin believes that the Holocaust is not the center of our identity. The center of our identity is the moral code that we have been brought up with which is the heart of what Jewish traditions and values teach us.

Gershon Baskin is featured in the film Between Two Worlds, a personal essay film telling five riveting stories that go beyond political postures to reveal the passionate debates over identity and generational change inside today’s American Jewish community:

* An incident at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival rips the local Jewish community apart with charges of anti-Semitism and self-hatred, McCarthyism and witch-hunts. Who is entitled to speak for a polarized Jewish community?

* The debate over ethnic/religious continuity threatens to widen the generation divide. Massive efforts are made to increase the Jewish birth rate and stop intermarriage, but young Jews choose new, hybrid and re-invented Jewish identities despite the outcry of traditionalists.

* America’s leading Holocaust center starts to build a tolerance museum in Jerusalem – on a famous Muslim cemetery – and sparks a debate over the meaning and uses of history.

* Jewish neo-conservatives regularly complain that Jews earn like Episcopalians, but vote like African-Americans. We explore why American Jews have been on the left of the political spectrum – and weigh in on whether it’s intrinsic in Judaism itself or explained by historical circumstances.

* Israeli politics divide Jews in America and in Israel. a younger generation of American Jews raised with liberal values is alienated by Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. What happens when Jews are torn between their support for the state of Israel and their anger at Israel’s violation of basic American Jewish ideals?

Snitow and Kaufman take us on a uniquely personal road-trip that reframes intensely polarized debates over tradition and change, loyalty and dissent inside one American ethnic community.

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