‘Trembling Before G-d’ Film and Discussion at Hobart and William Smith – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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‘Trembling Before G-d’ Film and Discussion at Hobart and William Smith

A film is about Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian will be shown and issues of about faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism will be discussed.

March 24, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y.—Director Sandi Simcha DuBowski's film “Trembling Before G-d” will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in Albright Auditorium on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. Susan Henking, professor of religious studies, will introduce the film, which is about gay and lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. Discussion will follow the screening. The event is free and open to the public.

Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, “Trembling Before G-d” portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma – how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality. As the film unfolds, viewers meet a range of complex individuals – some hidden, some out – including the world's first openly gay Orthodox rabbi, closeted, married Hasidic gays and lesbians, those abandoned by religious families, and Orthodox lesbian high-school sweethearts. Ultimately, they are forced to question how they can pursue truth and faith in their lives.

Shot over five years in Brooklyn, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, London, Miami, and San Francisco, “Trembling Before G-d” won the Best Documentary Award at the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Mayor's Prize for Jewish Experience at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Teddy Award for the Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at OUTFEST Los Angeles.

The film is being sponsored by the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men, the religious studies and lesbian, gay, bisexual studies departments, and Hillel. It is also shown as part of the 12 Windows series, sponsored by the Partnership for Global Education (PGE). Each film in the series represents or explores the culture of a community, and is chosen and introduced by a professor from the Colleges.