fbpx

‘One Wish’ creators making the world a better place

The concept of the viral YouTube video “One Wish for Iran, Love Israel” was simple: Ask folks on the streets of Jerusalem what they want the people of Iran to know in anticipation of Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration this past summer as the nation’s president.

Creator and Angeleno Joseph Shamash said the idea was “to show the Iranian people a different message than what they’re used to getting in the media from Israel, which is: We want to bomb you.”

In response, the video posted in early August by a collective of young filmmakers known as the One Wish Project has racked up more than 90,000 hits. 

And there’s the potential for more success: Shamash was just accepted Oct. 25 as a PresenTenseLA Fellow to take the One Wish Project and make it into an educational tool. PresenTenseLA is a social entrepreneurship incubator program of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles that provides business and venture development assistance.

Shamash identifies as a Persian Jew; his family hails from Isfahan, Iran, although they emigrated permanently in December 1978. Growing up in Dallas in the 1980s, though, Shamash had no interest in either facet of his identity. 

His family moved to Los Angeles when Joseph was 11, and in eighth grade he got himself kicked out of Hillel Hebrew Academy for lighting a fire behind a teacher’s turned back. 

“At that point, I didn’t want anything to do with Judaism,” he explains now. “My parents wanted me to go to [the Modern Orthodox high school] YULA, and I sabotaged my entrance exams.”

His collaborators’ stories are less dramatic, but they all follow a similar vein. Jeffrey Handel, One Wish’s producer and cinematographer, says his West Los Angeles childhood was “as unaffiliated and unreligious as one could be, with the exception of spending Shabbos dinner and the occasional seder with observant cousins.” Raphael Sisa, who serves as their producer, was raised in Brentwood by Turkish Jews, recent immigrants from Istanbul who attended High Holy Days services but didn’t insist on any kind of formal Jewish education for their two sons. 

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 1880 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, https://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Culture

Latest Articles
Latest

The Power of the Fast

Fasting is an empowered choice.

New L.A. Production Company to Focus on Jewish Content

Leviathan touts itself as “the first independent production company focused on creating premium film and television content based on Jewish stories.”

Antisemitic Incidents Happen At Three US Universities During Rosh Hashanah

Three antisemitic incidents occurred at three different universities in the United States during Rosh Hashanah.

Print Issue: Civil Rights Warrior | Sep 30, 2022

Lawyer-activist Brooke Goldstein has helped start a movement that frames the fight against Jew hatred as a civil rights cause seeking justice for Jews.

On Becoming a Shofar

When we comment on the physical rituals of our tradition, it’s usually to discuss what they symbolize.

Hollywood

Podcasts

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

x
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap