Cinegogue Sessions Vol. 10 — Orthodox in the Modern World

Menashe (SFJFF 37)

Set within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Menashe (SFJFF 2017) follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to maintain custody of his son after his wife passes away. Menashe has got serious tsuris (trouble); he suffers from a conflict between his community’s values and his aversion to marrying again. The rabbi believes that children should not be raised without a mother and won’t allow Menashe’s young son to live with him. Shot in secret entirely within the Hasidic community depicted in the film, and one of the only movies to be performed in Yiddish in nearly 70 years, Menashe is a warm, life-affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son that also sheds unusual light on a notoriously private community.

Behind the scenes: Casting Menashe
Click to watch the Making Of featurette!

93Queen (SFJFF38)

Brooklyn may be home to modern hipster culture, but it also remains the home of the country’s largest ultraorthodox Jewish community. This insular sect in Borough Park maintains its own set of conservative religious guidelines, including those that dictate that women never show their hair or bare legs in public or engage in physical contact with non-familial men, including shaking hands. And yet in times of medical emergencies and childbirth, it is the men of Hatzolah Emergency Medical Service who intimately care for women. In the gripping documentary 93Queen (SFJFF 2018) Rachel “Ruchie” Freier and her crew of dutiful yet revolutionary Hasidic women are ready to change this. Freier is a mother of six, a lawyer and a tornado-like force willing to put it all on the line to create the all-women’s volunteer ambulance corps group Ezras Nashim (Hebrew for “helping women”).

Paperock (JFI Online Shorts)

In the Israeli short film Paperock (JFI Online Shorts) an ultra-Orthodox young Jewish woman agrees to meet her brother, whom she has not seen in many years. When she finally lays eyes on him she understands that if she wants to reestablish the childhood bond between them she must accept his new identity.

Click to watch the short film Paperock

To Tune In Next Time…

Subscribe to the JFI Newsletter for the next Cinegogue Session



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jewish Film Institute

Jewish Film Institute

The Jewish Film Institute, based in San Francisco, champions bold films and filmmakers that expand and evolve the Jewish story for audiences everywhere.