Jews Step Forward

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of the colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”– Robert F. Kennedy 

These are the moral voices of bravery and justice inside JEWS STEP FORWARD.

“For me, the genesis for Jews Step Forward traces back to 1988 with the beginning of the First Intifada and moves through a self-education regarding Jewish social justice and its current re-awakening within that community regarding Israel,” filmmaker Marjorie Wright. 

“In Jews Step Forward, every interviewee began as a devoted follower of the state of Israel, investing their collective hope in the idea of European Jews rising from the ashes of genocide to create a safe haven and utopian society inside the Middle East. It is almost impossible to overstate how deeply the Jewish community internationally wanted to believe collectively in this abstract construct and how difficult and painful it is for many to relinquish a beautiful myth and see clearly the reality of Israel today. Each interviewee reflects upon his or her own journey from that deeply socialized ‘group think’ to a ‘eureka moment,’ where they were compelled to leave hasbara [Zionist propaganda] behind. For some, it felt intensely painful and tragic, while others manifested anger and shame. For still others, it was a call to action, to shed hypocrisy and define Israel with the same standards of deep commitment to human rights, social, and political justice, which defined who they are as Jews. Dorothy Zellner said: ‘I could not work to make sure that Black people in Mississippi had the right to vote and then turn around and be supportive of a state where every citizen does not have equal rights before the law…. We’re human beings, and we refuse to be stampeded by so-called group loyalty or blindness to Israel….It is not a privilege to fight to change our community. It is a moral imperative.’”

Learn more about the movie in this issue of the Americans for Middle East Understanding publication, The Link: 

The movie website provides many quotes from prominent Jewish figures.


Posted on

March 31, 2022

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