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| 24 min
Children of Jerusalem
Children of Jerusalem
1991 7 films

Children of Jerusalem</em></strong> (1991–1996) is a collection of seven films by multi-award-winning filmmaker Beverly Shaffer. The series offers portraits of life in Jerusalem as experienced by seven children from diverse social, cultural and religious backgrounds.


This short documentary tells the story of 13-year-old Gesho, one of the 14,000 Ethiopian Jews who left Northeast Africa for a new life in Israel during a massive refugee effort initiated by the Israeli government in 1991. In Ethiopia, he and his family lived without running water or electricity, and Gesho had to drop out of school in grade 6 to help his father. Now his family lives in a trailer equipped with basic conveniences in a temporary community for new immigrants on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

  • director
    Beverly Shaffer
  • producer
    Beverly Shaffer
  • executive producer
    Don Haig
  • camera
    Kent Nason
  • sound
    Jacques Drouin
  • editing
    Sidonie Kerr
  • sound editing
    Danuta Klis
  • re-recording
    Jean Paul Vialard
  • music
    Chris Crilly


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Ages 10 to 14

Study Guide - Guide 1

Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Family Studies/Home Economics - Child Development
Health/Personal Development - Human Growth and Development
Health/Personal Development - Identity

Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context:

  • Documentary profiling the life and experience of Gesho, a 13-year-old from Ethiopia who immigrated to Israel two years prior.
  • What different challenges does Gesho face as a new immigrant to Israel? How are they similar or different to the struggles that his brother faced?
  • Is Israel a unique place to be a new immigrant? Gesho struggles to learn multiple languages instead of just one. How many languages do many people typically speak? What are the values in learning so many languages?
  • How are all the experiences of Gesho’s siblings different? How might being born and growing up in Israel affect their development differently than those who were born in Ethiopia and remember it?
  • The pressure to succeed in every level is different for those whose parents have made a sacrifice that they know about. How does Gesho deal with this pressure?

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