40 Days of Teshuvah is a short film by filmmaker Hannah Roodman and The IOWA Project. The film is about bringing Jewish spiritual practice into the fight for racial justice, and follows Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)'s 40 Days of Teshuva protest in the summer of 2020.
The film offers a powerful model for integrating Jewish spiritual tools and technologies like prayer, teshuvah and Mussar into the work of social change in general and racial justice in particular. The protest featured in the film is an example of what organizing for racial justice can look like when deeply rooted in spirituality. We have ancestral contemplative tools that can support our liberation work, allowing us to tap into more resilience in the fight against the oppressive systems that devalue black and brown life. Our social justice work can flourish when we're able to show up as our most grounded, full selves, especially in incredibly hard moments.