A film by Verissima Productions: Since Pam and Rob Cooper founded it twenty years ago, Verissima has traveled across the country to produce more than seventy films including short documentaries, video biographies and promotional films for businesses, non-profits and educational institutions such as New England Law Boston, Simmons College, the Ruderman Foundation, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, and The Warren Group.
Verissima’s documentary credits include: “Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland,” which aired nationally on PBS; “ The Art of Speaking the Unspeakable,” a portrait of the artist Samuel Bak, which was distributed internationally; “Citizens Not Subjects,” which aired throughout the South; and “The Jews of Memphis,” which became one of the most successful fundraisers ever on WKNO-TV in Memphis.
Rachel Raz (Executive Producer) is an educator, entrepreneur, visionary, and consultant. She initiated and led the making of the Space Torah film and project to both preserve the extraordinary story in American and Jewish history and to share it with communities around the world. She now offers programs with the film to inspire and to promote deep conversations about identity, values, life goals, and beyond.
Rachel led Hebrew College’s Early Childhood Institute for ten years. During this time, she initiated and chaired the Annual Educators’ Conference. Rachel has published multiple articles and has authored two children’s books: ABC Israel and the Colors of Israel. She has been developing curricula and professional development material for over two decades, and is a consultant to schools and other organizations on visioning, strategic planning, and investments in education and educators.
Rob Cooper (Director and Co-Producer) has been producing educational films and documentaries for over forty years. Credits include Good Mornin’ Blues, hosted by B.B. King, (which was awarded a Cine International Golden Eagle) and Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland. Both films aired nationally on PBS.
As a producer at WBZ-TV, Rob won New England “Emmys” for You Gotta Have Arts and Money$ense. He has also produced videos for companies like Reebok, GE, The New England, Esquire Magazine and Scholastic.
Pam Pacelli Cooper (Researcher/Interviews) has over thirty years of experience as a family systems therapist, researcher, and oral historian. She has interviewed notable public figures, university presidents, and CEOs of major corporations.
She holds a Master of Education from Harvard University, and certificates from the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies, and from the Boston University program in Genealogical Research. Pam is a past Board member of the Association for Personal Historians, and co-founder of PHNN.
Austin de Besche (Director of Photography) has been a cinematographer / director for nearly 50 years. Film credits include Return of the Secaucus Seven and Lianna and Emmy winners Voices of the Children. TV credits include Design Squad, NOVA, Cheers and St. Elsewhere. Austin produced, directed, and filmed Pilgrimage into the Past, about a survivor who retraces the route of the “death march” he survived during the Holocaust.
Billy Novick (Composer) is internationally recognized as a performer, studio musician, arranger, and composer. He has performed with guitar wizard Guy Van Duser and the New Black Eagle Jazz Band for over thirty years, and appeared in recordings with J.Geils, Leon Redbone, Maria Muldaur, Odetta, and Duke Robillard.
Composing credits include: Seabiscuit ; Eight Men Out; full-length ballet scores for The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises and an adaptation of Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Dave Van Ronk, which debuted in New York’s Lincoln Center. BillyNovick.com
Heather Merrill (Archival Researcher) been an archival researcher and associate producer for more than 10 years. Credits include her work on Discovery, Showtime, and the WORLD Channel, as well as the PBS series American Experience, American Masters, and NOVA. She has also conducted research for publications including books on Theodore Roosevelt and the immigration laws of the 1920s.
Shady Hartshorne (Post Production Consultant) has been working in Post-Production since 1988. His TV credits include: Antiques Roadshow; Frontline; and America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell. He has done corporate production for Liberty Mutual, Athena Health, Boston Consulting Group and many others. He last worked with Verissima Productions on the documentary “Citizens Not Subjects.” An avid follower of space science and exploration, he was thrilled to be able to play such an important role in the post-production of the Space Torah Project.
Arnie Harchik (Video Editor) has over 30 years of editing experience. He has worked on projects for PBS and WGBH from “A to Z” (Antiques Roadshow to ZOOM). His latest series Weekends with Yankee is now airing nationwide. Along the way, Arnie has earned four New England Emmy awards for documentary work at Connecticut Public Television. As the “Finish Editor” for Space Torah, Arnie was responsible for the polish of the final edit.
Benjamin Reichman (Video Graphics/Animation) has a decade of experience as an editor and post supervisor. He has worked on a variety of award-winning PBS series, including FRONTLINE, American Experience, Weekends with Yankee, Lidia Celebrates America, Simply Ming, as well as for nonprofits including the ART and Groundwork USA. Ben edited The Passages of Walter Benjamin, a one-hour documentary about the German Jewish philosopher and writer.