Expired May 3, 2021 3:45 AM
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In 2005, Jared Branfman died of brain cancer at the age of 23. A week after his death, his father, Steven Branfman, a potter and teacher, went into his studio, took some clay and made a chawan, a Japanese style tea bowl. Each day for one year, he made one chawan — they were the only pots he made. Steven’s daily chawan made at his wheel was his own personal kaddish (the traditional Jewish prayer of mourning). For nine years, these 365 bowls sat unfinished on shelves in his studio. One day, in the ninth year, he decided to glaze and fire these bowls, bringing them to life with color and sheen. A Father’s Kaddish is the personal story of a man who created an art form to honor his son and his son’s memory. This powerful film shows traditional and non-traditional ways for people to grieve. From one man’s poignant story at the intersection of love, art, and ritual comes a universal lesson for all who have experienced loss.

Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with director Jennifer Kaplan, film subject Steven Branfman, and moderator Rabbi Fred Klein. To view the conversation please click here.


The Miami Jewish Film Festival virtual program is made possible with the generous support of Benjamin Nahum and Tamar Roodner.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    30 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Miami Premiere
  • Director
    Jennifer Kaplan
  • Producer
    Jennifer Kaplan
  • Cast
    Steven Branfman
  • Cinematographer
    Nikki Bramley
  • Editor
    Rachel Clark