The LUNAR Collective cultivates connection, belonging and visibility for Asian American Jews through intersectional community programming and authentic digital storytelling.
We originally launched in 2021 as LUNAR: The Jewish-Asian Film Project, an award-winning film series featuring 23 Asian American Jewish young adults in nuanced, unscripted conversation. After amassing a rapidly-growing, diverse community of Asian American Jews, we are now re-emerging as The LUNAR Collective, a space for learning, healing, expression, solidarity, and joy.
LUNAR has allowed me to discover a community I didn't know existed. Their events create an environment that my inner child longer for and my present self feels safe in.
-Jules, NYC community member
While our name “LUNAR” initially referenced the lunisolar calendar, common in Jewish and many Asian cultures, it ultimately grew to symbolize something deeper: the fluidity and complexity of a multicultural identity.
Like the phases of the moon, identity fluctuates and presents differently over time. One side of someone’s identity may be fully and openly illuminated, another may be kept private or misunderstood. The LUNAR Collective celebrates wholeness, nuance, and the permission to grow and evolve.
About the Name
By us for us
We strive for our leadership to reflect the identities of our community. Our offerings are rooted in our community’s most pressing needs.
We showcase the honest and nuanced textures of being an Asian American Jew. We want our work to feel organic and accessible to our audience.
We recognize the broad range of cultures in the Asian and Jewish communities. We respect and welcome Asian American Jews of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, religious/secular backgrounds, and gender expressions/identities. Inclusivity is something we continuously practice, refine, and ingrain into our work.
We are committed to maintaining respectful discourse and making space for nuance and varied perspectives in our diverse community.
Amid ongoing hatred and violence targeting our communities, it is essential that we celebrate and find joy in who we are.
Gen messages Jenni after seeing her in a Jubilee video speaking about her mixed Chinese Jewish identity. They host a discussion with Chinese American Jews, sparking an idea for a film series by and for Asian American Jews.
LUNAR is awarded “Most Impactful” at Mixed Asian Media Festival. The community rallies to crowdfund Season 2, raising over 129% of the campaign goal. LUNAR releases Season 2, with topics such as representation, language, interfaith families, religion, and joy. LUNAR continues to offer virtual and in-person programs, including a NYC Spa Day and a virtual Adoptee Dialogue.
LUNAR celebrates AAPI Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month with 4 videos highlighting identity intersections within the community, including transracial adoptees, Jews by Choice/converts to Judaism, and LGBTQ+ folks. LUNAR makes its first film festival appearance at CAAMFest.
In the aftermath of the devastating shootings in Atlanta, LUNAR hosts a last-minute virtual space for over forty Asian Jewish community members to grieve together. Later this month, LUNAR community members organize the first ever Asian American Jewish Passover Seder.
With a grant from the Jews of Color Initiative and fiscally sponsored by Be’chol Lashon, Gen and Jenni co-found LUNAR: The Jewish-Asian Film Project. They welcome Davi and Jared to the team, and post a casting call on Facebook hoping to find 10 Asian American Jewish cast members. To their shock, within a few days, over 50 Asian American Jews apply.
LUNAR hosts a virtual meet-up for Asian American Jews, connecting this newly growing community for the first time. Attendees share stories, bond, and marvel at the surprising abundance of this seemingly rare identity.
The LUNAR team assembles a cast of 23 Asian American Jews to connect and discuss via five virtual film shoots.
On February 12, LUNAR premieres Episode 1 at a virtual Lunar New Year Kabbalat Shabbat with Be'chol Lashon. Throughout the spring, LUNAR releases six episodes, with topics such as food, impostor syndrome, traditions, cultural trauma, the Model Minority myth, and liberation.
LUNAR pilots in-person small gatherings in Los Angeles and San Francisco to continue connecting Asian Jews. In August, LUNAR welcomes Maryam and Is to the team.
LUNAR hosts a nationwide Hanukkah party, virtually and locally in Los Angeles, New York, and the Bay Area.
March 16, 2022
LUNAR hosts Passover seders in Los Angeles, New York, and the Bay Area, and publishes Upstream, an Asian American Jewish Haggadah.
LUNAR officially rebrands as the LUNAR Collective, with Jenni Rudolph and Maryam Chishti as Co-Directors!