: Filmography : Naming Prairie :
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Naming Prairie

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"Naming Prairie"


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Naming Prairie
by Alexandra Juhasz
Digital Beta: 6:30 mins., 2001

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Over its short duration, Naming Prairie makes a strong statement about how our oldest traditions can be modified to reflect the new faces of Judaism. Dr. Alexandra Juhasz's 6 minute video celebrates Jewish family, tradition, and ritual while acknowledging the real flexibility within all three of these institutions. This joyous recounting of a lesbian couple's babynaming ceremony for their daughter, Prairie, also introduces a supportive and diverse network of family and friends who participate in their re-thinking of Jewish life.

A celebration of both tradition and change, Naming Prairie documents a joyous melding of new and old faces of American family. Friends and relatives join together to celebrate in a lesbian couple's Jewish babynaming ceremony for their daughter, Prairie. In the meantime, they demonstrate how the most ancient of institutions -- the family, Judaism -- can adapt to accommodate contemporary life. The video provides a loving and clear introduction to one of our society's more difficult issues: how do race, religion and sexuality factor into the families we make?

Naming Prairie is especially appropriate to trigger discussions with young adults (high school and college aged), about the intersections between gay and lesbian and Jewish life. There are many national organizations that could field speakers. These include PFlag (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and Colage (Children of Lesbian and Gays Everywhere).