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No events for I Was Not Born A Mistake

VIRTUAL STREAMING WINDOW! June 19, 1:00 pm through June 21, 1:00pm (48 hours)

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.

Special Guest (via Zoom)

VIRTUAL DISCUSSION: Sun, June 21 at 12:00 pm

smith headshot webv2  Yiscah Smith is a Jewish educator, spiritual activist and published author who addresses the spiritual practice of encountering the Divine spark within, the foundation of authentic living.  She employs her personal story of ​the joys and struggles with her spirituality, Jewish tradition and commitment to authentic living. She will Zoom in from her home in Jerusalem. Full bio and website

Director Bios

Rachel Rusinek is an Israeli director, cinematographer, and screenwriter (THE ESCAPE ARTIST, 2004).
Eyal Ben Moshe is an Israeli director, screenwriter, comic book artist, animator, designer, and cinematographer.

i was not born a mistake poster

Film Details:

Original Title: Iska Im Elohim
: Rachel Rusinek, Eyal Ben Moshe
Country: Israel
Language: English, Hebrew w/English subtitles
Running Time: 52m
Year: 2019
Genre: Documentary


  • Personal Stories
  • Religion
  • Transgender
  • Chabad Hasidim
  • Family Relationships
  • Coming Out
  • Spirituality