Converts: The Journey of Becoming Jewish follows several non-Jews from around the world as they go through the conversion process. Diana from Costa Rica found out about her Spanish-Portuguese Jewish roots from a high school genealogy project. Adam from Toronto was raised as a Pentecostal Christian but started questioning his beliefs as a teenager. Bianka from Warsaw wanted community and an intellectual approach to spirituality.
All of our characters are on a journey of self-discovery and negotiating their relationships with family, friends and significant others. All are searching for identity and connection. Through following their conversion process, we are vicariously exposed to a range of Jewish ideas and practices. Along the way we get a chance to meet their teachers and guides and the community that they seek to join.
Adam is a student at York University in Toronto where he is completing a degree in economics, with an eye toward law school. He began questioning his faith in his late teens and, being well-versed in the Bible, he decided to look into its original source – Judaism.
Dyana was married and has a 16-year-old daughter named Galilee. She ran a successful eco-construction company in Costa Rica. During high school, she found a distant link to her Spanish-Portuguese Jewish roots. Dyana studied on her own for nine years, until she found a conversion program in Israel.
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Raphael Shore, a graduate of the University of Toronto, is the founder and CEO of Imagination Productions. Raphael produced the documentary, Sustainable Nation, about Israeli advances in water technology. He also produced the 2015 film Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front (rated one of Netflix’s top five military movies) and its sequel, the 2016 mini-documentary Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew. Two more of Shore’s powerful productions are the documentary Crossing the Line 2: The Intifada Comes to Campus and the 2012 PBS-featured film, Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference.
Rebecca Shore is a mother, artist, educator and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the award-winning documentary When the Smoke Clears and was producer for the award winning film Sustainable Nation. She was producer/writer of the Netflix-featured film Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front. She was also the writer for the acclaimed PBS-featured documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference, the director/producer of Mekonen: Journey of an African Jew and writer of Hummus! The Movie.
Oren has worked as a photojournalist covering major events in Israel and the larger region since 1999. He directed and produced documentaries for the BBC, History Channel, National Geographic and others. He has directed and/or produced movies for the BBC, including the award-winning One Day In Gaza, The Real Fauda, Israel’s Arab Warriors and Price Tag Wars. Oren has been nominated for an Emmy three times for documentaries he produced for Vice on HBO. His award-winning film Hummus! The Movie has been featured in film festivals worldwide. His documentaries Mumbai Jews The Film and Holy Vegans are currently in production.
Sapir is a senior current affairs and documentary film producer. Her work spans various TV channels for prime-time TV and includes varied content from touching human interest stories and investigative journalism and the news. Michal has a degree in film studies from Tel Aviv University.
Ryan Lifchitz graduated from Northwestern University film school in 1996. He was an editor for VH1 amd MTV in New York City. He has also worked with CBS, Bravo, BET, The History Channel, Lifetime, and the Independent Film Channel. He has edited numerous documentaries, music videos, reality TV shows and commercials and has directed two feature-length documentaries.
The record producer and composer “Jack Shore” was first introduced to GarageBand at the age of 15 and fell in love with the art of composing music. Jack has signed with some of EDM’s biggest record labels and is behind the scenes pioneering the EDM sound in the Jewish music world, producing for many of the biggest Jewish artists. Shore has composed scores for many short films as well as several feature-length film documentaries.
David Blumenfeld is an award-winning Canadian/American director, cinematographer and photographer living in Jerusalem. His films have been featured on the Documentary Channel, YES and PBS and shown at over 50 film festivals. He has done photojournalistic work for Newsweek, Time, The New York NYTimes and the Smithsonian and been a cinematographer on documentary films for the BBC, Vice News, and Imagination Productions.
Veteran Sound recordist Amit Ella works around the world on Documentary’s and Tv programs for the past 20 years, he’s knows for “Beneath the Helmet”, “Mekonen”, “Hummus the Movie”, “Sustainable Nation” and many others.
Amit’s experience includes National Geographic, History Channel, Smithsonian, Vice and the History channel.