march and ash

Waves Apart explores surfing’s history of antisemitism

What happens when your passion conflicts with your heritage?

This is the question that Josh Greene, our director and narrator, asks himself in Waves Apart. After moving from a Chicago Jewish community to a small California surf town, Josh faced bullying and antisemitism as a middle schooler, prompting him to find an escape in surfing.

Years later, as a college film student and avid surfer, Josh investigates the antisemitic history of surfing that includes swastikas carved into the first commercially produced surfboards, the German-American bund and Hollywood’s first surf film.

He then speaks with Jewish surfing legends Shaun Tomson and Izzy Paskowitz about their own experiences in the water and how they’ve used their spirituality to overcome the hate.

Josh personally confronts the hidden underbelly of surfing as well as discovers new signs of light and community that can help combat the darkness of the sport.

Further reading

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