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May 10, 2012 • Crowdfunding

PRINZ: The Courage to Speak, a Documentary About Controversy, History and the Power of a Voice.

Project TitlePrinz: The Courage to Speak, a documentary film about controversy, history and the power of a voice.

Status: $18,222 raised of the $20K goal

Closing Date for Funding: May 24, 2012

URL of the Project: Prinz: The Courage to Speak

From the Creatives: 

In Berlin in the 1930’s, the civil rights of Jews were systematically stripped away. A young rabbi refused to be silent. His name was Joachim Prinz, and he set out to restore the self-esteem of the German Jews. Knowing the Nazis were monitoring his every word, and despite repeated arrests, Prinz continued to preach about the value of Judaism.

Expelled from Germany in 1937, Prinz arrived in the United States, the land where democracy had supposedly triumphed over bigotry and hatred. Here, he witnessed racism against African Americans and realized the American ideal was not a reality.

As rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark, NJ and later as the President of the American Jewish Congress, Prinz became a leader of the civil rights movement. Prinz worked to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, declaring “bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” Moments later, Martin Luther King, Jr. would deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Prinz continued to speak out for justice, taking sometimes unpopular positions on peace in Israel, women’s rights and the Vietnam War. “I detest uniformity of thought,” he wrote, “I love a controversial discussion.”

About the film’s creators, Rachel Fisher and Rachel Pasternak:

We are the principals of R Squared Productions and co-producers of PRINZ: The Courage to Speak. As filmmakers and friends, we focus on uncovering and sharing stories from the past that might otherwise be lost. Together we produced the short film Remembering Oswiecim, which plays daily at The Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oswiecim, Poland.

Who at Gear Diary Backed It: Dan and I did!

At What Level Did We Back: Dan backed at the $50 level, and I did at the $100 level.

Why We Backed It: Judie – It’s so easy to have a fatalistic view about things, believing that people are the way that they are, and that their long-held prejudices can’t or won’t ever change, but it’s simply not true. Like Prinz, I “love a controversial discussion”, and I think that people like him — those who made a difference in people’s perceptions of others — need to be remembered.

Dan – Back in February I went down to Trenton and testified on behalf of a Marriage Equality Bill that was before the New Jersey Assembly; it passed, and then our Governor promptly vetoed it. At the time, some of my Board Members thought it courageous of me. I didn’t. Honestly, I simply saw it as one example of a wrong I could potentially help right. I still do.

I learned about Rabbi Prinz from the two Rachels who are the creatives behind this, when they came to meet with me to tell me about the project. You see, both of them are members of my congregation. Yeah, I get to serve a pretty neat community filled with some of the most interesting and creative people around!!!)I was impressed by their commitment to telling Rabbi Prinz’s story and to the role he played in working toward social equality. While we were still meeting, I actually backed the project and sent an email to Judie about it. Previously I have backed tech based projects, but this one? I really want to see it happen!!!

How’s Communication From the Creatives Been?: There have been three updates posted since the project started; they seem to be timely, and none of the people backing seem to be complaining.

What Has the Experience Been: Great, so far! I am looking forward to seeing the documentary!

Would You Recommend this Kickstarter Project?: Absolutely.

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