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40 Days of Teshuva Short Film

40 Days of Teshuvah is a short film by filmmaker Hannah Roodman and The IOWA Project. The film is about bringing Jewish spiritual practice into the fight for racial justice, and follows Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)'s 40 Days of Teshuva protest in the summer of 2020.


The film offers a powerful model for integrating Jewish spiritual tools and technologies like prayer, teshuva and Mussar into the work of social change in general and racial justice in particular. The protest featured in the film is an example of what organizing for racial justice can look like when deeply rooted in spirituality. We have ancestral contemplative tools that can support our liberation work, allowing us to tap into more resilience in the fight against the oppressive systems that devalue black and brown life. Our social justice work can flourish when we're able to show up as our most grounded, full selves, especially in incredibly hard moments.

Join the over 40 organizations and institutions that have hosted screenings of the short film alongside a guided discussion around the themes and spiritual tools present in the film. Let us know if you would like to include a screening as part of your upcoming Elul and High Holiday programming. 

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40 Days of Teshuvah
Short Film

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Practice and Discussion Guide

Watch the Trailer

Subscribe For Film

Thank you to our film  sponsors: 

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Mussar and
Justice Network

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Donate to The IOWA Project

Still from 40 Days of Teshuvah. Image shows protesters holding sign that reads: For the sins which we’ve committed in silencing black voices.

Our work is made possible by donations from our supporters. We have a lot of exciting work coming up in the coming months, and we need to resources to make that happen! Donate to our work today, to support short film screenings, our racial justice programming in the fall, and more. All funds raised  will go towards diversifying our staff and consultants, and building capacity for our future racial justice programming at IOWA. 

New to our work?

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We're the Inside Out Wisdom and Action (IOWA) Project, and we are a network of activists, educators, and spiritual leaders in the Jewish community supporting social justice leaders in exploring Jewish spiritual wisdom and developing Jewish spiritual practices. We believe that integrating deep spiritual wisdom into our justice work allows us to lead from a place that is more visionary, creative, sustainable, and grounded. In our community, we're helping people build bridges between their spiritual lives and their activist lives through study groups, leadership cohorts, facilitators cohorts to learn, practice, and grow into deeper Jewish spiritual practice through Mussar and Chassidut.

We hope you'll join us for film screenings and Tisha B'Av programming!

BBC Interview: Black Jewish Lives Matter

Learn more about the important and powerful work from Black Jewish social justice and spiritual leaders in our community in this BBC interview, below! In the interview, Yehudah shares that “Connecting to Torah isn’t just something that’s nice - it’s necessary.” We couldn’t agree more, and are excited to talk more about bringing spiritual wisdom to our justice work through this short film and Tisha B'Av programming. 

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