This article was first published in The Times of Israel.
Jessie Kahnweiler’s bubbe died and left her a lot of money, but she can’t get it unless she “lives Jewish” for a year. Well, not really, but this is the conceit of “Dude, Where’s My Chutzpah?”— a new comedic documentary web series chronicling the young filmmaker’s recent journey into the wide and deep world of Jewish tradition and expression. The payoff involves no cash, but a better understanding of Kahnweiler’s own spirituality and Jewish identity instead.
The 11-part series has a movie-within-a-movie kind of feel (think Sacha Baron Cohen in“Borat”), and Kahnweiler plays a character that is a riff on her real persona. “It’s me, but with better clothes,” she quipped in a phone conversation with The Times of Israel.
The series, which kicks off this week with a launch party at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, is Kahnweiler’s Six Points Fellowship project. She is a member of the first Los Angeles cohort of the UJA-Federation-sponsored fellowship program for artists creating new work that explores Jewish ideas and experience.
“This is not your Birthright Israel promo video,” Kahnweiler, 28, warned about her edgy series, which takes her from Los Angeles to Israel and back, searching for God, discovering Israel and Palestine, healing the world and looking for love. Along the way she meets a plethora of people who share with her their version of Judaism, while putting up with her humorous schtick.
Click here to read more and watch the web series trailer video.
© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.