CHAVRUTA: A DRUMMER'S BAT MITZVAH is a 15-minute documentary short by Portland, Oregon-based filmmaker Jodi Darby, with drummer/ecologist Lisa Schonberg and musician/Torah teacher Alicia Jo Rabins. CHAVRUTA follows Lisa and Alicia as they trade rock drum lessons for Torah chanting lessons in a feminist project combining ritual, study and art, culminating in Lisa's adult bat mitzvah.
The word "chavruta" refers to the traditional partner-style study of Jewish texts. Over the course of one year, Lisa and Alicia together investigate the ancient Near Eastern roots of women's drumming, research Sumerian goddess traditions, and explore female spiritual leadership and the place of environmentalism in religion.
At its core, CHAVRUTA is about everyday spiritual quests: the search for personal, authentic ways to express our inherited traditions; the importance of continuing to ask, learn and grow as adults; and the life-changing power of friendship.
Created with the support of a grant from Portland's Regional Arts and Culture Council.