Learn about the team behind Pepper, Silk & Ivory


Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

One of the world's foremost authorities on the Jewish Experience in the Far East, Marvin Tokayer lived in Japan and was rabbi of the Jewish Community of Japan before being appointed vice president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Southeast Asia and the Far East. For more than 36 years, he traveled throughout the Far East and has written more than 30 books on Judaica, in Japanese, contributed to the Encyclopedia Judaica, is a much sought-after speaker, and was recently awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, the equivalent of the Medal of Freedom, by the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. He also appeared in and was the historical consultant for the PBS documentary, Sugihara: A Conspiracy of Kindness.  Author of The Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and the Jews During World War II (co-written by Mary Swartz), his Pepper Silk & Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East (co-written by Ellen Rodman) is the subject of this proposed documentary. (Photo courtesy of George Kalinsky)

Dr. Ellen Rodman

This veteran writer/producer is president of LN Productions LLC, a production and media consulting company based in New York. Rodman served as an executive at NBC and at Group W where she received the DuPont Columbia Award for “Whispering Hope,” the company’s programming and community outreach on Alzheimer’s Disease. She has written and coauthored numerous books and articles as well as being the family entertainment reviewer at The New York Times. Ellen is co-author of Pepper Silk & Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East as well as the upcoming sequel, Sugar In the Tea, co-authored by Rabbi Marvin Tokayer. Sugar in the Tea Media LLC was formed to produce this documentary.


Dan Polin

Principal of Oscar-nominated Great Projects Film Company, Dan has produced more than two dozen programs for PBS national broadcast. His World War II-related documentaries include George Marshall and the American Century, Emmy-winner for Best Historical Program; and The Trial of Adolf Eichmann and Resistance, about armed Jewish partisans who fought the Nazis, both of which were nominated for Emmys. Dan produced a number of films about engineering and infrastructure including a two-part PBS series about the rebuilding at Ground Zero. His series of art documentaries includes An Essay on Matisse which was nominated for an Academy Award. 

Michael Kong

Former Vice President and co-founder of East-West Advertising, the Andy Award winning agency that produced campaigns and videos for Newport Jazz Festival, Felton Industries, Canon, Combibloc and others, Michael created Magic Carpet Video (MCV), "the travel magazine you watch", which became segment producer for inflight entertainment on Pan Am, American Airlines and others. He has worked with Emmy winners Bob Long (In Search Of) and Harry Friedman (Hollywood Squares), and partnered with Joanna Schulman to form EcoVision to promote "tourism as a friend of the environment" through media and travel. Michael has worked with Rabbi Marvin Tokayer since 1983 to help publicize the Jewish experience in Asia through tours, press events and through his foundation, FRJC.