About The Film
Ultra-Orthodox Yaakov Smith was married with six children, director of the Chabad center in Jerusalem, and a pillar of the community before divorcing, abandoning religious observance, and leaving Israel to become Jessica (Yiscah in Hebrew). In the US, Smith underwent a gender transition and moved to Seattle, where no one knew her, and decided to return to traditional Judaism. "It was ... more of a spiritual transition than a gender transition," she told Jewish in Seattle magazine. After living in Seattle—where she was active in Congregations Shaarei Tefilah-Lubavitch and Beth Shalom, and taught at Seattle Jewish Community School—Yiscah decided to return to Israel to be close to her family and heritage, and to become a religious educator, spiritual mentor, author, and lecturer on authentic living and spirituality. The film chronicles her reconciliation from loneliness to self-acceptance and compassion. Her inspiring journey has earned her the moniker, "grandmother of the Israeli transgender community."
About The Gay Gezunt! LGBTQ Spotlight
In Yiddish "gay gezunt" means "Go in good health." Often said in parting, it is also means, "Go do your own thing." SJFF spotlights the health and wealth of Jewish and Israeli LGBTQ offerings, and invites path-breaking filmmakers, film subjects, and local luminaries for Q&A after.
Rachel Rusinek is an Israeli director, cinematographer, and screenwriter (THE ESCAPE ARTIST, 2004).
I Was Not Born A Mistake
Screenings & Events