Hineini (Hebrew for ‘Here I am’) chronicles the story of one student’s courageous fight to establish a gay-straight alliance at a Jewish high school in the Boston area and the transformative impact of her campaign on everyone involved.
Beyond the struggle to create a supportive environment for gay and lesbian students and teachers at the school, this is the story of a community wrestling with the very definition of pluralism and diversity in a Jewish context.
Shulamit Izen enters 9th grade at The New Jewish High School (now Gann Academy) longing to connect more deeply with her Jewish faith. She also starts school as an out lesbian.
Using interviews with Shulamit, her family, teachers, and other students -- both those who support her campaign and those who oppose it -- the film allows the members of this community to tell their own story as it unfolds. What emerges is a potent story of Jewish pluralism and a community navigating the crosscurrents of Jewish tradition and social change.
From sanctifying same-sex marriages to ordaining gay rabbis, discussions of GLBT identity and inclusion are taking place across the Jewish religious spectrum. Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School offers a vital new framework to understand these issues and a powerful impetus to participate in the discussion.