S4 Ep 1 - Jerusalem Road

Season 4 | Episode 1
27m | Oct 19, 2023

Welcome to the start of season 4 of the True Fiction Project Podcast. This episode was recorded October 11, 2023 and rushed to release to mark the October 2023 events between Israel and Hamas, marking the most significant escalation of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in several decades.

With the heaviness in the world today and the events playing out in Israel and the Gaza strip, I introduce a particularly timely story brought to audiences through playwright, poet and screenwriter, Simone Yehuda. Simone discusses her screenplay, Jerusalem Road, which has wild synchronicity between the storyline and what is happening between the Israelis and Palestinians right now. Simone talks about why it is so important to release her screenplay right now. She shares the history of both the Israelis and Palestinians feeling that home is the same place, and the barriers that are at stake. We then hear a scene from a table read of Simone’s screenplay, Jerusalem Road. The scene compares and contrasts the years of suffering the two character groups, Palestinians and Jews, have faced and how both groups were forced into exile.


  • [2:47] Simone discusses her background and where her story Jerusalem Road came from.
  • [5:01] Is it true that all of her screenplays focus on the reconciliation of opposites divided by major barriers where survival and identities are at stake? Why did she choose this path? 
  • [6:33] Why is Jerusalem Road so important and why release it right now with the events happening in the world?
  • [9:02] Who are some of the characters and what is the context of the characters?
  • [12:26] What is the history of both Israelis and Palestinians feeling that home is the same place?
  • [15:24] Has the significance of the screenplay expanded given what is happening this week? 
  • [16:36] Can we bring about change through storytelling?
  • [17:52] Will Simone’s screenplay go beyond a screenplay into something more?
  • [22:00 A scene from the screenplay, Jerusalem Road, written by Simone Yehuda.


  • We’re all a human family. We have to try to put an end to the inhumane treatment that is happening. If we keep defending “our own” and not stepping out to right against the things that are going wrong in the world then they will continue to happen. 
  • If we can’t talk to each other and listen to each other then disaster will follow. Each person’s story is valuable and a way to get to know each other’s lives, cultures, and history. Take the time to listen to stories as much as you tell them. 
  • There is so much loss happening right now, so much inhumane activity happening all across the world with racism, ageism, prejudice behavior. Take the time in your day to spread kindness and empathy. Do what you can to make the world a better place. 

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Fiction Credits:

Excerpt written by: Simone Yehuda


Simone Naomi Yehuda was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to a German Jewish Holocaust survivor and French Catholic mother whose own mother was a leader of the French Resistance. Writing became her cure for massive psychic trauma. She began as a published poet (two books: THAW and LIFTING WATER) and multi-produced playwright (including a play, WILLING, Off Broadway). While in New York, she played the flute with the New York Symphony and was a member of the Mass Transit Dance Company. Simone began writing screenplays full-time ten years ago hoping to reach a wider audience. She now writes feature screenplays that include JERUSALEM ROAD, THE NEW EVE, LOVE AND HOMICIDE, THE THIRD MOTHER, THE SIG OF A FREE MAN and MATADORA! Her scripts focus on the reconciliation of opposites divided by insurmountable barriers where survival and identity are at stake. Simone’s adult twin daughters, physician Valerie Gabriella Press and psychologist/artist Corinna Nicole Press, live in Chicago and San Francisco respectively. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her historian husband Barry Michael Shapiro.

Simone Yehuda's Website 

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