Film Screening of “Under G-d,” Panel Discussion, and Reception
Monday, October 16, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue (at 38th Street)
New York City
*The $18 registration fee can be waived for students, seniors, and others upon request. Reach out to Liz Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last summer, the Jewish community across the country and lawmakers here in New York have taken action to protect and expand this critical right by reframing abortion access as a religious freedom issue.
Paula Eiselt, an award-winning director and producer, will introduce her new short film, “Under G-d”, about the national Jewish response to the Dobbs decision. After the film, we will have a panel discussion with experts on both reproductive rights law and Jewish law. The discussion will be followed by a brief reception.
About the Program
Under G-d weaves together the stories of Jewish people throughout the country who are seeking to fight abortion bans in part by placing them in the legal and cultural context of religious freedom. This documentary short film premiered as an official selection of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. “Under G-d” introduces us to characters that are now flipping the very script used so effectively by Christian nationalists.
In taking on these public protests and cases, Jewish leaders around the country are asking the United States to protect women, and protect democracy, by preserving the constitutionally enshrined separation of church and state.
Following the film, we will hear firsthand from lawyers representing Jewish women suing the state of Kentucky over its abortion restrictions, an Orthodox Rabbi, and an attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, who will discuss the upcoming New York Equal Rights Amendment ballot initiative, and how it will protect reproductive freedom here in the face of a changing national landscape.
Louisville Kentucky native Aaron “Piano Man” Kemper attended Hebrew school with Lisa Sobel, the primary plaintiff in Kentucky’s abortion challenge. An alumnus of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Aaron, alongside his wife Chan Kemper, clerked in the Virgin Islands post-graduation in Chan’s hometown. The couple returned to Kentucky in 2013, and by 2017, Aaron established his litigation firm. Passionate about jazz piano, Aaron believes there’s a relationship between performance and litigation. With two young daughters closely connected to the daughters of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, Aaron, deeply rooted in Kentucky’s Jewish community, is determined to challenge Kentucky’s draconian abortion laws and create a better future for the Jewish Community of Kentucky.
Ben Potash is an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky. Ben grew up Orthodox Jewish before going off the derech in college. After working in copywriting, Ben went to the University of Louisville Law School at 29. After graduating, he became a public defender. Later, Ben went into private practice, working mainly in criminal defense before moving to plaintiff’s litigation. In addition to his work on Sobel, Ben is lead counsel for the Louisville Tenants’ Union, co-manager of the Rainbow Name Change Clinic, which offers free name change services for gender nonconformists in Kentucky, and a proud cat dad and coffee fanatic. In his free time, he works.
Rabbi Dov Linzer
Rabbi Linzer is the President and Rosh HaYeshiva (Rabbinic Head) of YCT Rabbinical School. Having served as YCT’s Rosh HaYeshiva for over 20 years, Rabbi Linzer became its President in 2019 and assumed both the institutional and Torah-based leadership of YCT.
An acclaimed Torah and halakha scholar, Rabbi Linzer has been a leading rabbinic voice in the Modern Orthodox community for over 25 years. He has published over 100 teshuvot (responsa) and scholarly Torah articles and hosted a number of highly popular Torah podcasts.
In his capacity as a mentor, Rabbi Linzer provides religious guidance to the yeshiva’s students and the over 150 YCT-ordained rabbis who are serving in the field. He answers hundreds of halakhic questions from YCT rabbis and broader community each year, which are available to the public on his blog, psak.yctorah.org.
Allie Bohm is a policy counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union. She develops and advocates for policy solutions, primarily related to gender and sexuality – in particular, LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights – and privacy and technology. She also advocates on the full range of the NYCLU’s issues.
Prior to joining the NYCLU, Bohm was a policy counsel at Public Knowledge. Before law school, Bohm was an Advocacy & Policy Strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union, covering state policy nationwide related to speech, privacy, and technology and women’s rights, among other issues. She began her career as a Legislative Assistant in the ACLU’s Washington D.C. legislative office, where she worked on women’s rights, reproductive freedom, national security surveillance, and immigration.
During law school, Bohm was a Legal Fellow for Senator Dick Durbin on the Senate Judiciary Committee and worked in President Barack Obama’s Office of the White House Counsel, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Charlotte Burrows’ office, at the National Women’s Law Center, and at the National Partnership for Women and Families. She was also a Public Interest Fellow and served as a legal observer at the military commissions in Guantanamo Bay.
Bohm earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Tufts University where she was a Citizenship and Public Service Scholar.
Paula Eiselt is a Peabody-award-winning and Primetime Emmy-nominated independent filmmaker known for her journalistic rigor in telling timely and intelligent cinematic stories led by strong-willed characters. Her films have screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide including Sundance, SXSW, and Hot Docs, and distributed on platforms such as Hulu, Disney+, HBOMax, PBS’s POV, and Arte. Her award-winning documentary features include, 93Queen (HBOmax/POV) and Aftershock (Sundance/Hulu/Disney+), and most recently, Under G-d (Sundance 2023/POV Shorts).
Aftershock premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Doc Competition and was awarded the Special Jury Award: Impact for Change. The film was acquired by Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News Studios and released on Hulu and Disney+ in July 2022. Most recently, Aftershock was nominated for a 2023 Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and named a 2023 Peabody Award winner. Other awards include the Full Frame Film Festival’s Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights, NIHCM Television and Journalism award, as well as two Critics Choice Documentary awards nominations, including Best Documentary Feature.
Paula’s most recent release, Under G-d, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary Shorts Competition and was acquired by PBS’s POV Shorts. Released in July 2023, Under G-d has been awarded with the Local Jury Award at the 2023 Palm Springs International ShortFest and the Juried Prize Winner of the 2023 PBS Short Film Festival, to date.
Paula’s award-winning documentary feature debut 93Queen, a co-production with ITVS/PBS and Arte/SWR, premiered at Hot Docs and was released theatrically across the U.S. and Canada, including a six week hold over at NYC’s IFC Center. Previously streaming across HBOMax’s U.S. and Latin American platforms, 93Queen was broadcast nationally on PBS’s POV, as well as internationally on ARTE in France and Germany, UR in Sweden, yes DocU in Israel, and CBC in Canada. 93Queen played at over 75 film festivals worldwide and was selected for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase.
Previously, Paula was a Concordia Studio fellow, Sundance Producers Summit fellow, IFP/Gotham Filmmaker Lab fellow and Wyncote fellow. Her work has been supported by numerous film institutions including, ITVS, Sundance Institute, Just Films | Ford Foundation, New York State Council of the Arts, International Documentary Association, Jewish Story Partners, among others.
In 2022, Indiewire named Paula one of 22 Rising Filmmakers to Watch and she is a 2022 DOC NYC 40 Under 40 honoree. Paula is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in Film Production and Cinema studies. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their 4 children.