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Rachel Azaria is a young, fearless Jerusalem City Council member who is fighting to save both her city and her career from the grip of religious extremists, some of whom wish to force her out of office and impose a strict religious lifestyle over the entire population. Battle for Jerusalem is a work-in-progress, feature-length film that documents Rachel's struggles and triumphs.

While holding steadfast to her own Modern Orthodox Jewish faith, Rachel protests vehemently against the ever-growing influence of ultra-Orthodox policies. Rachel's positions fly in the face of the political stronghold, which would write women out of Jerusalem’s public sphere entirely. As Rachel speaks out for Jerusalem’s women and for cooperation among its diverse communities, Battle for Jerusalem follows the end of her first term and her uphill battle for re-election. 


Read about my motivation for starting this project here.


This project also includes Jerusalem Unfiltered, a multi-platform documentary series that immerses audiences in the richness and complexity of contemporary Jerusalem. I interviewed over 40 of the city’s most dynamic, progressive change-makers who have founded political and cultural movements to re-imagine public spaces and foster social activism to revitalize their city and to allow all voices to be heard. Each has become a short film as part of a transmedia experience. One example is featured in the second video to the left, an ultra-Orthodox student pushing for reform in his traditional community.

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