In a city notorious for intercultural tension, a new battle is brewing.
At its center, young artists and activists struggle to keep Jerusalem vibrant and democratic in the face of a rising tide of religious fundamentalism.
Explore Jerusalem as you've never seen it before. Unlike the Israel shown on the news, Jerusalem Unfiltered transports you directly to life on the streets of Israel's capital city, through the voices of its most dynamic and passionate citizens.
In a city notorious for intercultural tension, a new battle is brewing. At its center, a diverse group of young artists and activists has taken on a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in a struggle for the future of their city. As ultra-Orthodox extremists tighten their political grip on the city's infrastructure, progressive voices struggle to be heard - and the place of women in public life faces increasing restrictions. Thus, young citizens have largely fled the capital, abandoning its social and economic turmoil and deeming the city unlivable.
But amid these tensions, a growing movement of young people has made a deliberate decision to stay and fight, striving to rebuild Jerusalem into a thriving and democratic capital. With a colorful vision for a vibrant and pluralistic Jerusalem, these change-makers have founded political and cultural movements to reimagine community arts, public spaces, and social activism, working to revitalize their city and to allow all voices to be heard.
In Jerusalem Unfiltered, you are invited to tour Israel's capital city with those fighting for it every day. Unlike conventional walking tours, here the young artists and activists shaping Jerusalem's future introduce you to the issues that matter most to them, offering you an insider's perspective on their city.
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Jerusalem Unfiltered can be navigated in two ways: Tours, and Topics.
In this demo version of Jerusalem Unfiltered, only the "Tour Highlights" tour is available.
Both the Tours and Topics settings will take you to the Neighborhood Mosaic (the main window, where the stories are located). Once inside the mosaic, you can either follow the order of the tour, or explore on your own by dragging the Neighborhood Mosaic left or right, or clicking on the Neighborhood Timeline at the bottom of the screen.
Tours: To take a tour, select the "Tours" tab on the left-hand side of the page. Click on the the tour you'd like the take. An introduction to that tour will appear in the main window.
You can click on the "Start the Tour" button in the introduction window, which will bring up the Video Player screen. Or, you can meet the people on the tour in any order you wish by dragging the Neighborhood Mosaic left or right or clicking through stops on the Neighborhood Timeline at the bottom of the screen. If you see someone you wish to meet, simply click on their picture or their name.
Once you've selected a tour stop, the Video Player screen will show you a video profile of one of Jerusalem's most colorful and charismatic characters. The video plays automatically, but you can stop it and close the Video Player at any time. Once the video has played, you can close the Video Player and select another stop on the tour through the Neighborhood Mosaic, or click on "Next stop on the tour" to go to the next stop directly.
Topics: The Jerusalem Unfiltered stories can also be sorted by numerous topics; most of the stories fall under multiple topics. To see all available topics, select the "Topics" tab on the left-hand side of the Jerusalem Unfiltered home page. Select the topic you'd like to use to sort the stories. All stories labeled with this topic will appear in the Neighborhood Mosaic in the main window. You can view the stories in this topic by dragging the Neighborhood Mosaic left or right, or clicking through stops on the Neighborhood Timeline at the bottom of the screen. Click on the name of the picture of the person whose story you would like to view. A small description of the person will pop up. To watch their video, select the "Click here to meet (Name)" link in their description window.
The People option on the overhead navigation offers further information about each of the citizens featured in the Jerusalem Unfiltered stories, as well as links to their work and updates on their recent initiatives.
Liz Nord, Director and Producer
The influential culture blog Flavorpill called filmmaker and multi-platform producer Liz Nord a "fierce, youthful visionary." Her first film, Jericho's Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land, a critically acclaimed documentary about young Israeli musicians, screened at over 100 festivals and venues worldwide and has been viewed by an estimated 100,000 people. In 2009, she shot a documentary on-location in Haiti for musician Wyclef Jean's charitable organization, Yéle Haiti. In 2008, she ran MTV's Street Team '08--a groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning project wherein 51 state-based citizen journalists covered the 2008 presidential across all media platforms. This effort contributed to the most influential youth vote in U.S. history. Nord moved to Brooklyn from San Francisco, where she ran an organization teaching filmmaking skills and media literacy to at-risk youth and served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Women in Film and TV. Her professional history is in designing award-winning websites and multimedia educational software.
Michal Richardson, Associate Producer
Michal Richardson helps to produce digital games by day, but by night can often be found folk dancing or elbow-deep in calligraphic ink. With a background in children's television and her M.A. in Educational Communications from NYU, Michal has worked with educational media ranging from PBS's Great Performances to Nickelodeon's Team Umizoomi, and more recently has served as an instructional designer for educational games. She also creates custom calligraphy work, teaches Israeli folk dancing to dancers of all ages, and blogs about gender and children's media. She aspires to one day perform a song on her ukulele from atop a unicycle.
Murmur, Design and Development Partners
Murmur is an award-winning hybrid studio/technology company that pioneers new forms of immersive, cinematic experiences. Murmur's principals, Hal Siegel and Mike Knowlton, are 20-year digital veterans, and are emerging leaders in the transmedia storytelling space. Murmur's 2011 film, HIM, HER and THEM was the first ever film to use Facebook as both a platform and model to create a social film that engaged multiple users within a single friend network at once. Murmur develops original projects and also collaborates with filmmakers, artists, media companies and adventurous brands.
Director & Producer:
Design & Development Partners:
Associate Producer & Writer:
Original Music Composition:
Yona T. Roberts Golding
This project is generously supported by the Leichtag Foundation.
To nominate a person to profile in Jerusalem Unfiltered, to bring a Jerusalem Unfiltered live screening and discussion to your community, or to get in touch with the creators of Jerusalem Unfiltered, contact
Moran Mizrachi and her father founded Café Mizrachi in an effort to draw young people to the Jerusalem marketplace (shuk) and city center. Café Mizrachi succeeded in starting a trend, and became the first in a wave of new small businesses in the area. Moran is a chef and owner. She gives her interview outside the café, in the heart of the shuk.
Location: Café Mizrachi is located inside the market, at 12 Hashazif Street.
Matan works to promote community partnerships and understanding through art and events -- especially in Musrara, an often overlooked neighborhood bordering Jewish, Arab, and ultra-Orthodox areas. Matan's group Muslala formed in an effort to rethink public space in Musrara, and has founded an arts collective to foster dialogue between the neighborhood's diverse residents. In his video, Matan guides us through the art exhibit and through his initiatives to reinvigorate the neighborhood.
Links: The Muslala Group (with downloadable art maps in Hebrew and English)
Updates: The Muslala Group recently hosted Between Green and Red, a intercultural series celebrating Ramadan with Musrara's Jewish and Arab residents through storytelling, screenings, and watermelon.
Einat is a contemporary artist and photographer whose deep roots in Jerusalem inspired her to co-found the art gallery, Agripas12, with her husband Yossi and several other artists. Agripas12 was the city’s first city's first co-operative gallery, but since it opened in 2004 it has given rise to the founding of other similar spaces in the city.
Updates: In 2012, Einat's work was featured in group exhibitions at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; Dana Art Gallery, Yad Mordechai; Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art; and Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York.
Sha'anan is the frontman of Hadag Nachash, one of Israel's most popular bands. While many of his friends and all his bandmates have moved to Tel Aviv, he has remained a devoted resident of Jerusalem's central marketplace (the shuk). He also helped to found Festival Beshekel, an initiative that aims to make arts and culture equally accessible to all. In his video, Sha'anan guides us through the shuk and explains why he believes Jerusalem is on the precipice of a cultural renaissance.
Updates: Sha'anan has recently opened a bar in the shuk, Casino de Paris.
Itamar was raised as a devout member of the ultra-Orthodox community. As a young adult, he made the inconceivable move of leaving his yeshiva (religious school) and enrolling in a secular university. He tries to balance both worlds, as he continues to participate in the ultra-Orthodox community while integrating into mainstream Israeli life. In his video, Itamar guides us through the insular world of Mea Shearim, giving viewers an insider's perspective of the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle as well as his own thoughts on how the community has evolved.
Ofer is the co-founder and charismatic young leader of the Hitorerut ("Awakening") political party and youth movement, whose campaign made him Jerusalem's youngest city council member. The party encourages young members to "wake up" and take ownership of their community's future through social and political activism. In his video, Ofer shares the optimistic philosophy behind the founding of Awakening, and guides us through a public project with personal meaning for him: an Awakening event in the Old City.
Hitorerut on Facebook
Updates: Ofer split his term with colleague Meirav Cohen, who now serves as the Hitorerut city councilwoman. Though his tenure on City Council has ended, Ofer still acts as the party chairman, continuing to campaign for changes in Jerusalem's neighborhoods.
Jerusalem Unfiltered is a not-for-profit project and a work in progress. Any amount you contribute can help put more of Jerusalem’s stories on the map.
Or, make a tax-deductible donation (over $250) through our fiscal sponsor, Women Make Movies
(See Instructions below)
Consider bringing Jerusalem Unfiltered to your community through live screening and discussion events with director Liz Nord! Sessions can be tailored to meet the interests of your community. Please to find out more!
Instructions for donating via the Women Make Movies site:
From the entire Jerusalem Unfiltered crew, thank you so much for your help!
Get the latest scoop on the Jerusalem Unfiltered project!
Jerusalem Unfiltered is a companion project to director Liz Nord's work-in-progress documentary film Battle for Jerusalem, which follows the journey of one of Jerusalem's most exciting young change-makers: fearless city councilwoman Rachel Azaria. Rachel is fighting to save both her city and her career from the grip of ultra-Orthodox extremists, some of whom wish to force her out of office and impose a strict religious lifestyle over the entire population. Rachel's positions fly in the face of ultra-Orthodox leaders, whose policies would write women out of Jerusalem’s public sphere entirely in the name of "modesty."
Rachel, herself a religiously observant mother of four, promotes her own vision for Jerusalem as a diverse and democratic capital city for all Israelis, regardless of their religious beliefs or practices. She advocates for cooperation among Jerusalem’s diverse communities and for the rights and voices of all women -- but mounting pressure from political opponents has recently led to Rachel's dismissal from her City Council leadership positions. Battle for Jerusalem follows the end of Rachel's first term and her uphill battle for re-election.