Rabbi Carl M. Perkins
Cantor Jamie Gloth
Melissa Rudman, Executive Director 
Arlene Bryer, President

The Premier of "A Father's Kaddish"

October 27, 2020 | 9 Heshvan 5781
Dear Friends,

Many of us know of the work of Steven Branfman, a local, accomplished potter and pottery teacher. Three of his vessels grace our sanctuary. Here’s one of them:
What we may not know is that Steven and his wife, Ellen’s son, Jared, developed brain cancer in 2003. Jared died at the age of 23 on September 27th, 2005. 

Within a week of Jared’s funeral, Steven found himself in his pottery studio. At first, it wasn’t possible to work. But then, he formed a small “chawan” — an East Asian tea bowl. That was it: one chawan. The next day, he formed a few more. And then one more chawan on the third day, and one more on the fourth day, and on and on. This daily act of filial piety continued for an entire year.

After that year, the chawans sat untouched for nine years. Then, Steven was ready for the next stage: he glazed and fired the chawans, and exhibited them at the Thayer School, where Steven has taught pottery for many years. 

Jennifer Kaplan, a local documentary film maker who has made several short films of Jewish interest, learned of Steven’s experience and created
"A Father’s Kaddish," a "potent and moving film about the universality of loss, mourning and rebuilding a life, told through the unique experience of art." 

A Father’s Kaddish — whose trailer we viewed at our shul some time ago — will premier this coming month at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, which runs from November 4 through 15, 2020. I strongly urge you to purchase a ticket and see the film. Purchasing a ticket also entitles you to watch a live Q & A with Steven and Jennifer on Sunday, November 8th at 4 pm. Click here for details and to purchase tickets -- as well as to learn how you can make a financial contribution to help offset the costs of producing this film.

May the One who brings peace in the heavens bring peace upon all of us as well, and let us all say, Amen.

Rabbi Carl M. Perkins