Off and Running on PBS

Off and Running is an American coming-of-age story. But it is one shaped by the new realities of an increasingly diverse American population, especially as those realities affect family life. Brooklyn teen Avery Klein-Cloud is the African-American adoptive daughter of white Jewish lesbians. Her siblings, also adopted, are an older black and Puerto Rican boy and a young Korean-American boy. Avery has grown up loved, supported and happy. Off and Running opens with the popular high school track star in her junior year, looking forward to college and a successful life.


Off and Running tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians and has two adopted brothers— one mixed-race and one Korean. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known.

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Now you can own a copy of acclaimed documentary Off and Running, featuring bonus materials that include extra scenes, outreach notes, an ITVS-sponsored short film about the film's composer and more...

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Host a screening and share this film with your synagogue, school or community. Contact us at to discuss potential venues and facilitators in your area.

Talking to Adolescents

Off and Running is a wonderful resource for exploring a variety of issues surrounding racial identity, LGBT issues, transracial adoption and Jewish diversity. However, this film may not be appropriate for younger audiences, as it deals with teen sex, pregnancy, abortion, running away, and academic failure. Sarah Spencer, LMFT, recommends that this film be viewed with a facilitator who has experience addressing adolescent identity issues.

Parenting Tips

Parenting is something we both do and feel, incorporating behaviors and our attitudes. How can we raise children from mixed families or within diverse communities to embrace and identify with all parts of their cultural heritage? Here are some tips by Genevieve Okada

Jewish Learning

Thoughts and questions on the nature of identity and the role of names in shaping our conceptions of self, by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, featuring the poem Every Man Has a Name by Zelda.

An Adoptee's Story

Off and Running resonates with Collier Meyerson, a bi-racial Jew adopted by a Black non-jewish mother and White Ashkenazi Jew father.

View the Trailer