by Erin Axelman & Sam Eilertsen
A film that focuses soberly on young Jewish Americans who come to question their unconditional devotion to Israel.
2023  ·  1h24m  ·  United States
French subs
About the Film

Two young American Jews – Simone Zimmerman and Eitan – are raised to defend the state of Israel at all costs. Eitan joins the Israeli military. Simone supports Israel on ‘the other battlefield:’ America’s college campuses. When they witness Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people with their own eyes, they are horrified and heartbroken – the Jewish institutions that raised them not only lied, but built their Jewish identity around that lie.  They join the movement of young American Jews battling the old guard over Israel’s centrality in American Judaism, and demanding freedom for the Palestinian people. Their stories reveal a generational divide in the American Jewish community as more young Jews question the narratives their synagogues and Hebrew school teachers taught them as children. 

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Festivals and Awards
Spirit Award Brooklyn Film Festival, Best Documentary
Brooklyn International Film Festival, Best Documentary
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Audience Award Documentary
Tallgrass Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary
Arizona International Film Festival , Best Documentary
co-founder of IfNotNow Movement
Simone Zimmerman
American veteran of the Israel Defense Force
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) President Emeritus
Abraham ‘Abe’ Foxman
UCONN Hillel Coordinator for Jewish Student Life
Jacqui Schulefand
Holy Land Trust Executive Director
Sami Awad
Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) President
Lara Friedman
Immediate Past Chair, Association of Reform Zionists of America
Rabbi Bennett Mille
J Street President
Jeremy Ben-Am
Human Right Attorney
Noura Erakat
Editor-at-large, Jewish Currents
Peter Beinart
Professor, Union Theological Seminary
Dr Cornel West
Laureate Professor, University of Arizona
Noam Chomsky
Writer and Filmmaker
Rebecca Pierce
Palestine Tour Guide, To Be There
Baha Hilo
FMEP Director of Programs and Partnerships
Sarah Anne Minkin, Phd
Rabbi Miriam Grossman
Kolot Chayeinu Congregation
About the Director

Erin Axelman

 Director/Producer: Erin is a trans Jewish filmmaker, based out of Somerville, MA. Israelism is their directorial debut. Eric and Sam founded Tikkun Olam Productions, a nonprofit filmmaking collective that focuses on documenting and supporting movements for justice. Erin has produced videos for Senator Ed Markey, as well as Congressman Jamaal Bowman. They’ve also produced a series of short videos with Jacob Blake, who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to Israelism they are currently producing the upcoming feature documentary Generation Green New Deal.

Other films by Erin Axelman

Sam Eilertsen

Director/Director of Photography: Sam worked for a decade as a cinematographer and editor on narrative and documentary projects before directing Israelism, which is his directorial debut. He is also directing the upcoming documentary Generation Green New Deal, which follows the youth climate movement, and Vs Goliath, a documentary series on frontline environmental justice activists, which was selected for the prestigious CNN/Film Independent 2023 Docuseries Intensive.