Recently, the ROI Community announced $500,000 in project grants. These grants are meant to foster innovation and help advance projects in early to mid-stage development. We’ve decided to feature a number of these projects – we’ve already discussed Manuela Zoninsein and Agrigate, Talya Lev and Bat Kol and next is Videographer Sasha Perry. I’ve known Sasha for years thanks to her involvement in Jewlicious amongst other things, so this was a fun interview!

Sasha PerryCK: Hey Sasha!
SP: Hey Duvid!

OK, so how did you get started with ROI?
I got involved in ROI through working as the Cook for the Jewlicious Festival. I was looking for a way to continue my film projects in Israel and Rabbi Yonah suggested I try ROI. Turned out to be good advice. I am very fortunate to work with two Jewish organizations, ROI and Jewlicious Festivals, that have open minds about what the future of the Jewish world might look like. To be able to work on many campaigns and projects dealing with feminism, gender and queer issues, and environmentalism all through a Jewish context is really incredible.

Can you tell us a bit about your project/projects?
The project I directly received a grant for is a documentary on Jewish womanhood in the 21st century. A collection of voices and stories from the womyn who are shaping Judaism today as they try to find the balance between tradition and revolution. I am also part of the 17 ROI alumn that are launching the first Jewish environmental portal, a one-stop shop for all things relating to Judaism and the environment. I am very honored to be part of the group and really look forward to seeing our ideas come to fruition and help unite the Jewish environmental movement to focus our goals and create a more cohesive community. (I get to work on projects based on feminism and environmentalism from a Jewish perspective… It’s basically 16 year old radical punk Sasha’s dream come true).

Why do you think your project got funding?
There were many amazing ideas that requested funding from ROI and CLI. I don’t know what made mine more deserving of others, to be honest, I doubt that it was. I think you should ask ROI why they chose who they did. I am honored to be among many deserving receipients of grants whose projects cover an array of topics, all of which are important in todays Jewish community.

What are the next steps you plan on taking in order to make the project come to fruition?There’s a lot of filming and editing to do on my own film project, as well as other ROI alumn who I am really excited to be helping on their film projects. Jewcology is in the trusted hands of Evonne of Canfei Nesharim, I am just a humble helper and am looking forward to creating and running the Jewcology Summit, where we will bring together Jewish environmental leaders from around the country.

How do you think being at the ROI summit helped move these great ideas of yours along?
ROI is not for everyone, and it took me a few goes at it to figure out where I fit and what I wanted to get out of it. I found some hidden progressive minds at the ROI Summit and have made long lasting friendships with many of them. Many of those friendships are now turning into a lot of work and project building, it’s not something I would have expected at all, and I’m excited to see where it will take us.

I’m kinda looking forward to that too. I know y’all are all innovators and the future of the Jewish community, but for me it just means more blog fodder!
Oh Duvidl. What are we going to do with you?

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.