Torah Service

 

Approximately 7,500 members of the Ethiopian Jewish community remain in Ethiopia, hoping that the Israeli government will give them permission to emigrate. In Torah Service, virtual reality clips are taken from a documentary project currently being shot by University of Pennsylvania professors and filmmakers Peter Decherney and Sosena Solomon. The project — part virtual reality and part traditional documentary — tells the story of the camp in Gondar, Ethiopia, where over 2,000 children daily improve their Hebrew, sing Jewish songs, and pray. The clips include documentary virtual reality footage of the Ethiopian Torah service and weavers making tallit.

About the Artist

Peter Decherney is an author, filmmaker, and professor. He is Director of the Cinema & Media Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania and has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. He is the author or editor of six books on film and has directed documentary and virtual reality films in Myanmar, Kenya and Puerto Rico. His current project is a documentary about a day camp in Gondar, Ethiopia, where over 2000 children learn Hebrew, prayers, and Jewish songs in preparation for the day they will be chosen to emigrate to Israel.