Naomi Schorsch Stein
Organization: Next Chapter Productions
I’m a Providence-based Jewish educator and administrator with over 30 years experience. In 2019 I pivoted to create Next Chapter Productions along with my sister Rebecca Schorsch. We are currently working on our first documentary film, Life in Reverse. The film is about German memory work, the struggle to overcome a violent legacy and the difficult path towards reconciliation.
For 13 years I worked at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island as Director of Admissions, Marketing and Communications and teacher. As in my admissions career, the aspect of documentary filmmaking that excites me is meeting people and hearing their stories. My desire is that our films remind people of the uniqueness and inherent worth of every individual, hopefully building empathy and strengthening our sense of interrelatedness. As a first-time filmmaker, I’ve been encouraged and inspired by the open, collaborative environment created by the many wonderful artists and professionals we’ve encountered.
Life in Reverse (2021)
Role: Independent Filmmaker
Prominent Jewish scholar Ismar Schorsch fled Germany in 1938. Decades later, residents from his family’s hometown of Esslingen invite him back, restoring relations brutally severed by the Holocaust. In 2019 Germany awards Ismar its highest civilian honor. What made Ismar’s reconciliation possible?
Through Ismar’s story, Life in Reverse reveals the courageous efforts of non-Jewish Germans to face the violent legacy they inherited. Their difficult memory work has broad implications beyond Germany. The struggle with their brutal past will serve as a model, particularly for America, as we have barely begun to memorialize the victims of our cruel history.
Ismar’s humane spirit and devotion to historical knowledge as a path to redemption inspires as we consider the role of memory and truth-telling in building a just society.
Life in Reverse is a film about honest confrontation with a painful history and the uncertain journey from destruction to reconciliation.