From Producer/Director, Rhonda Moskowitz

We are following Dana and Phil, who are the young Jewish parents of three year old, Elijah. Both Dana and Phil were incarcerated during most of Elijah’s second year of life. You can see their photographs on the photos page of the film’s web site.

We first filmed 23 year old Dana when she was in a maximum security prison, one month away from giving birth to her daughter. This prison is the only state facility that houses pregnant females. How did Dana, who was born to a middle class Jewish family, a successful student and editor of her high school newspaper, end up pregnant and incarcerated?

Phil had been released from jail the day before we first filmed him. Handsome, charismatic and intelligent, he has a strong spiritual connection to Judaism and had been working with a Rabbi while incarcerated to help himself change. Phil had stolen from his aunt and a few days before his release, his aunt unexpectedly passed away. The Rabbi, who coincidentally had performed Phil’s Bar Mitzvah 10 years before, had plans to continue to work with Phil after his release. However, a short time after Phil got out, the Rabbi suddenly died. These two monumental losses sent Phil into a downward spiral of loss, grief and guilt.

Both Phil and Dana struggle with addiction to Oxycontin. The drug ‘s addictive powers are enormous. Oxyncontin shattered their lives and their families lives. They’ve betrayed and hurt their loved ones and also committed crimes out of desperation to get ahold of this terrible drug.

Our film is just as much a film about drug addiction as it is a film about Jewish prisoners. There is addiction in my family and also in the cinematographer, Sean’s family. Some of our film shoots are so harrowing, I don’t know how Sean can even hold the camera.

Dana and Phil are young and have their whole lives ahead of them. They also have a wonderful young son and Dana has a baby daughter. I hope they can mend their broken lives. I’m rooting for them.


  1. Squandered Lives « Teshuvafilm’s Blog Says:

    […] Martin’s first cousin, Philip, and  Dana, the mother of Philip’s three year old son,  have great humanity and potential. They’re 20 years younger than Martin. I hope drug addiction doesn’t win out and I hope they don’t squander their lives. […]

  2. Gail (”There But For The Grace of God Go I”) « Teshuvafilm’s Blog Says:

    […] (”There But For The Grace of God Go I”) By teshuvafilm When I first met Gail, her twenty-three year old daughter, Dana, was incarcerated, one month away from giving birth to her second child, her other daughter, […]

  3. pavlevlastimirovic Says:

    I was the The Jewish Clerk for Rabbi Freidman ,and my duty was to cook Kosher Hot meals for Shabbos ,and strict instructions for Dr Charles Friedgood to have the best possible Shabbos Celebrating every week in Sing Sing and later Woodbourne as We both arived there from behind the wall ,it was a beautiful experience to have ,the Rabbi’s such as Rabbi Singer ,And Rabbi Lesser , are doing fantastic and the Aleph Institute is very important for helping out the Jewish inmates make it through there tough times as there is much abuse towards older weeker Jewish inmated that I have honorably protected as much as I could have ,as I would love to speak again to Dr. Charles Friedgood and thank him for mentoring me in the Jewdisim and telling me to read and study as much as possible . He is my Mentor and a such a great man ,with great character that always helped humanity .

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