Created in 2015 , the Fargesn Media Project seeks to provide a model for community story preservation and truth telling, beginning in Ferguson, MO. 

"Oftentimes, the people who are out there doing the work don’t have time to make documentaries about what they’re doing. [Fargesn] allows people to keep doing what they’re doing, but for it to be captured so that isn’t forgotten."
Koach Baruch Frazier

The events in Ferguson, MO in 2014 captured the nation's attention and sparked a movement--bringing average citizens onto the streets and into protest. Inspired by Rabbi Michael Rothbaum's Rosh Hashana Sermon, Ferguson/Fargesn, this Project is a groundbreaking narrative innovation, seeking truth and honesty after events of civil unrest. We are telling the stories of Ferguson that could be lost to history, focusing on the intersections of Blackness and Judaism and on the leadership of women and queer people. We are challenging assumptions. We are documenting world-changing work. We have produced a web series and an audio archive and mounted multiple educational events around the country, but we are only beginning to explore what community-oriented documentation can mean.

 
 

Executive Producers

This project is a collaboration between first-time filmmaker Sarah Barasch-Hagans,

the Central Reform Congregation and the Mission Man Media Team 


Sarah Barasch-Hagans 

Founder, Rabbinical Student, Activist

Sarah has been called a “visionary Jewish leader” by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice for her work on their acclaimed #BlackLivesMatter Haggadah Supplement, which she helped finish in time for the first Passover seder since the Ferguson Movement. A St. Louis native and rising third year rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Sarah grew up 10 minutes from Michael Brown and, since his death, has become one of the leaders of a new generation of Jews joining the Civil Rights Movement. As “chaplain to the protestors,” “clergy witness,” and “faith-based activist,” Sarah inhabits multiple roles. She bridges many networks, between institutional Jewish life and Civil Rights organizations, among young Jews from the middle to the far left, clergy and lay people of many religions, and the younger leaders of the emergent Black Lives Matter Movement. Since October, she has provided confidential advising and fundraising support to a few of the most visible activists to emerge from Ferguson.

Sarah is the rabbinic intern for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights on their campaign against mass incarceration. She has provided thought leadership in T’ruah’s successful effort to become a “go-to” expert on Jewish religious responses to high profile cases of police brutality. In this role, she was instrumental in bringing a group of rabbis in a solidarity trip to Ferguson October. Sarah also contributes her rabbinic voice to the broader movement through liturgy and facilitation, with a special interest in supporting other members of Jewish interracial families in discovering what “allyship” means in the context of family. Her published liturgy includes a Vidui (Confession) For the Sin of Racism for Yom Kippur, a #BlackLivesMatter Shabbat service, and a piece on interracial family in the Exodus story for the aforementioned Haggadah supplement. She has also published creative nonfiction about Ferguson and Judaism for Zeek Magazine and Ritualwell, and written editorials on racial justice for other Jewish publications.

 

Emmett Williams

Founder and Executive Producer, Mission Man Media

Award-winning artist Emmett Williams founded Mission Man Media with the idea of telling stories in ways that have not been told before. As an internationally known musician, nationally exhibited photographer, and published writer, Emmett has made a career out of seeing things in a different way, while making his art accessible to a wide audience. After many years producing and writing for television, he made the switch to tell his stories using compelling and entertaining documentaries. He's thrilled have the chance to give back to the community he grew up in by developing this project. His unique background has allowed him to bring his voice to Fargesn Media. 

 

Shira Kahan

Executive Producer, Mission Man Media

From age 12, Shira has been rather media obsessed. Whether consuming it from various sources or creating it, she knew from her first cold call to film bagels at 5am that she was born to produce. Hailing from the Washington DC area, Shira has since lived in London, New York, and DC. After graduating with a degree in TV/Video Production from Ohio University, Shira joined Americorps NCCC, where she spent “the toughest but best 10 months” doing everything from building houses to picking prairie seeds, all in government sanctioned uniform. Shira then spent time in informal education as the Assistant Director of her Jewish summertime home, Camp Louise, and as the Grandmaster General of Awesomeness at the innovate School for Tomorrow. Shira joins the Fargesn Media project as a part of her own mission of "Tikkun Olam" or "Repair the World." Shira's outsider's perspective on the complex relationship St. Louis contributes to the narrative of the project. 

 

 


Intern

Shoshana Williams

Shoshana Williams is a rising senior at John Burroughs School. She is excited to be spending her summer interning for the Fargesn Media Project. She has always been passionate about racial justice and has previously participated in fundraising and volunteering to promote racial equity. Shoshana is actively involved in other facets of social justice as well and her passion for equity and opportunity manifests itself in her many activities. She participates in a Jewish-Muslim dialogue group, is a part of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Student to Student, a program that fights anti-Semitism by breaking down stereotypes, and she’s thrilled to serve on the board of trustees for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis next year. Shoshana is a Youth Ambassador for Safe Connections, a local nonprofit that provides services for survivors of rape and domestic abuse. She also serves on the Diversity Executive Board for her high school leads Spectrum, the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, as well as Kiva Club, which does fundraising for Kiva, an international organization that alleviates poverty through micro-lending.