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To donate by credit card, click the link below. To donate by check: Please make your donation payable to the “The Center for Independent Documentary” and put “Space Torah Project” in the memo line. Please mail your check to: The Center for Independent Documentary 1300 Soldiers Field Road, Suite #4 Boston, MA 02135.
On a Sabbath evening in February 1996, orbiting the earth in the Space Shuttle, astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman took out a miniature Torah, unrolled the parchment, and began reading from the First Chapter of Genesis…taking the Creation Story back to the Firmament. “Space Torah” will present the majesty of this moment with spectacular NASA footage, “home video” of the reading, and interviews with people who were there, including Dr. Hoffman. We’ll explore the back story of how Dr. Hoffman ended up on that shuttle flight, why and how the mini-Torah was created, how it came to be on that mission and how it continues to be used by new generations of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
Verissima Productions film credits include “The Art of speaking about the Unspeakable”, a portrait of the artist Samuel Bak, “The Jews of Memphis”, a comprehensive history of Jewish participation in this mid-America city and “Citizens Not Subjects!”, a broadcast documentary about the life of legendary southern political boss E.H. Crump.
Rachel Raz (Executive Producer) is Director of the Early Childhood Institute of the Shoolman School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. She is a board member of Hillel at U. Mass / Amherst and of Boston’s Israel Academic Forum. Rachel has a BA from Bar-Ilan University, and MJED (Master of Jewish Education) from Hebrew College.
Rob Cooper (Co-Producer) has been producing educational films and broadcast documentaries for over 30 years, including “Good Mornin’ Blues”, with B.B. King, which aired nationally on PBS and received a Cine International Golden Eagle. He was also a producer for WBZ-TV’s “You Gotta have Arts” which won a New England “Emmy” award.
Pam Pacelli Cooper (Co-Producer) is a skilled researcher, oral historian and interviewer. She and Rob have been producing historical films for Verissima Productions since 1999, and were respectively, co-producer and co-director of the documentary “Zamir Chorale: Jewish Voices Return to Poland”, which aired nationally on PBS.
Austin de Besche (Director of Photography) is known by many as the premier DP in New England. He’s shot for feature films, TV shows (“Cheers” / “St. Elsewhere“) and broadcast documentaries. He also produced and directed “Pilgrimage into the Past“, about a man who takes his family on the route of a death march he survived during the holocaust. Ken Burns called it “a fascinating, terribly honest and challenging film…a great film”.
Billy Novick (Composer) wrote the unforgettable score for Verissima Productions “The Art of Speaking About the Unspeakable”. His music has been heard in feature films such as “Any Given Sunday”, “Judge Dredd” and "Seabiscuit” and TV shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Friends”, “Portlandia”, and “The Astronaut Wives Club”.