American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco is a coproduction of Actual Films and Switchback Films. Its nonprofit fiscal sponsor is Afterimage Public Media.
The impetus for American Jerusalem grew out of the realization that the remarkable story of the 19th-century Jewish pioneers of San Francisco is largely unknown outside the West. But this is a story that resonates far beyond California, as it is a tale of identity, tolerance, the lure of the American West, and most of all, the American Dream. It is an important story and one that needs to be shown to a national, even international, audience.
The production of American Jerusalem is a true collaboration: of filmmakers; historians, especially Frances Dinkelspiel, Fred Rosenbaum, and Ava Kahn; descendants of the original San Francisco Jewish pioneers; a number of private and public archives—and everyone who has fallen in love with the city of San Francisco.