It’s been seven years since Jewish director Rachel Israel released one of the sweetest, most underrated of quirky rom-coms, “Keep the Change,” a chaotic romance between two autistic individuals who meet at Manhattan’s JCC, which also stars the late, great Jessica Walters. Now, Israel is giving us a new star-studded and extremely Jewish film, one that feels like all our Jewish representation wishes come true.
According to Deadline, Israel just finished filming “Floaters” at New York’s Tel Yehudah camp this January — the same camp where the parents of film producers and siblings Shai, Lily and Becky Korman met. The movie takes place at a Jewish summer camp and stars two of our favorite Jewish TV actors, Jackie Tohn of “Glow” and Sarah Podemski of “Reservation Dogs.” They play struggling musician Nomi and her high-achieving best friend Mara, respectively, who return to work at their childhood Jewish summer camp. Their job? To mentor the camp’s misfits, aka the “floaters.” As the camp undergoes turmoil, the two women and their charges “must overcome their differences to bring the community together and save the camp.”
The cast of this movie is honestly bananas — it’s so Jewish and so iconic. There’s “You’re the Worst” and “The Boys” star Aya Cash, who is always incredibly hilarious and magnetic on screen and who will play the camp’s Rabbi Rachel. The movie also stars Jewish actor, TV maker and millennial favorite Seth Green (!) in what may be his most Jewish project ever, at least since he played Willow’s boyfriend in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Also exciting for elder millennials — Steve Guttenberg of “Police Academy” and “Three Men and a Baby” is in the cast.
The younger members of the cast are also incredibly excellent: There’s Jewish actor Judah Lewis of “The Babysitter” franchise, who plays Jonah, Guatemalan Jewish actress Nina Bloomgarden of the Peacock series “The Resort” who plays Lindsey, and the very charming Jake Ryan who plays adorably geeky characters in shows and movies like “Eighth Grade,” “Chad” and “Asteroid City.”
Honestly, at this point, I would’ve been happy to say dayenu, but there’s even more Jewish excellence to discuss! The movie will also star wrestler and actor Maxwell Jacob Friedman and comedian and “Odd Mom Out” creator and star Jill Kargman. Jonathan Silverman, who starred in the very Jewish “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and more recently in Netflix’s “Good Girls” and the quirky Canadian comedy “Moonshine” (and who is both the son and grandson of a rabbi) is also in the cast, as is Iranian Jewish star Dan Ahdoot of “Cobra Kai” fame.
Basically, a lot of funny, talented, Jewish actors who are known for being in some very fun, quirky projects. To be honest, this cast truly feels like a Jewish film and TV lover’s dream come true — or at least my own dream come true. It is diverse while still being authentically Jewish, which was an explicit choice made by Israel, who has shown how deeply she cares for celebratory representation of marginalized voices in all her work.
Israel said that ensuring that there’s a Jewish actor in every role allowed for the movie to be “an authentic portrayal and celebration of the diversity within modern Jewish communities.” According to her, the movie “resists tired cliches often attributed in the media to embrace a rich culture and explore multidimensional Jewish characters.”
I have such high hopes for this film — and I don’t think I’m wrong to have them. In the meantime, here’s a truly adorable photo from the set shared by star Sarah Podemski on her Instagram. Go Camp Daveed!