Off and Running
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. 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. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring.
Host a screening and share this film with your synagogue, school or community. Contact us at email@example.com to discuss potential venues and facilitators in your area.
We recommend this film for older adolescents as it deals with teen sex, pregnancy, abortion, running away, and academic failure. This film is best viewed with a facilitator with experience in adolescent identity.
• This film won a Be'chol Lashon Media Award
• Buy the video for home use/for educational use
• POV discussion guide
Off and Running is a wonderful resource for exploring a variety of issues surrounding racial identity, LGBT issues, transracial adoption and Jewish diversity. Sarah Spencer, LMFT, shares her thoughts on navigating the complex transition from youth to adulthood.
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.
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.
Collier Meyerson on Off and running
Each person has their own story, their own experience of being Jewish, their own journey through life.
Each of the stories in this section is unique, representing one facet of the complex multicultural diverse contemporary
Jewish landscape. Read the stories of others and consider sharing your own.
View the Trailer