March 23, 2019

Spiritual Skillshare

“ALICIA JO RABINS and Lisa Schonberg are longtime friends and prolific artists; Rabins is a musician and writer who is also a Jewish educator, and Schonberg’s many hats include percussionist, composer, and environmental artist. After years of joking, and then not joking, they agreed to do a very particular skillshare: Schonberg would teach Rabins to drum, and Rabins would prepare Schonberg to finally become bat mitzvah at age 40, and to read from the Torah for the first time.

As the two explored the other’s passion, they discovered surprising connections between drumming, spirituality, and the history and changing roles of women as religious leaders, and decided to document the process. The result is Chavruta: A Drummer’s Bat Mitzvah, a short film directed by Jodi Darby. It documents preparations for Schonberg’s bat mitzvah and the friendship between the two women.

Rabins and Schonberg spoke with Jewish Currents in anticipation of the film’s New York City premiere at Town and Village Synagogue, Saturday, February 23rd at 7pm. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.”

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