Tom Tom is pleased to premiere Chavruta: A Drummer’s Bat Mitzvah. Chavruta is a 15-minute documentary short by Portland filmmaker Jodi Darby. The film follows drummer/writer/environmentalist Lisa Schonberg and musician/writer/Jewish educator Alicia Jo Rabins as the two prepare for Lisa’s adult bat mitzvah, delving into a grassroots, feminist course of study informed by their Pacific Northwest home and exploring the intersection of Torah, performance, the ancient Near Eastern roots of women’s drumming, and spiritual leadership. At its core, Chavruta is a film about everyday spiritual quests: the search for authentic ways to express our Judaism; the importance of continuing to learn as adults; and the power of friendship.
In Jewish culture, the ancient Aramaic word “Chavruta” (from the root “friend”) means “study partner” and refers to the traditional Jewish method of studying texts in pairs of two. Alicia and Lisa enact their own modern feminist chavruta in this project, combining sacred Jewish texts, drumming, and feminist ecology, to explore spiritual and musical coming-of-age traditions. The film is accompanied by Rabins’ and Schonbergs’ study guide meant to inspire discussions around the topics covered in the film.