My mother teaches at Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California. It being a typical community college, she has all kinds of students – would-be firefighters, cowboy types, football players, and housewives. She has a soft spot for the mad geniuses.
One of her very early students was a guy named Tawd Dorenfeld, who named a punk rock band after her. A mad genius if ever there was one. Tawd now works as an animator – he’s done animations for people as diverse as Serj Tankian (of System of a Down) and Rosanne Barr. His animations are beautiful and subtly twisted.
His latest project is a series of animated versions of the stories of the great Rebbe Baal Shem Tov. As Tawd describes him, “The Baal Shem Tov was the first Rebbe of the Chassidic Jewish Movement who reinvigorated Judaism in the mid 1700s across Europe. His style of Judaism was that of a Joyous religion and culture instead of the dreary fearful Judaism of the past. He is recorded to have 100s of stories untapped by the Film Industry, until now.”
You can find out more about the project at Holy World Productions.