A Life Apart - Hasidism in America A Hasidic Boy


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  • A background note from Oren Rudavsky, co-producer and co-director of A Life Apart

    "Iím the kind of Jew many Hasidim barely consider Jewish. Iím not observant. Iím totally engaged by American culture and immerse myself in it. And even though I come from a strongly Jewish home, my father is a Reform Rabbi, something Hasidim certainly donít recognize or respect. And yet, I have been making films about Jewish subjects for more than a decade, out of a deep desire to understand the Jewish experience, and my own experience:

    My mother is an immigrant from Poland who arrived in 1939, and I found out several years ago that her father was a Ger Hasid. However, when he arrived, there were barely any hasidim in America. The family grew up in Brooklyn, yet unlike my co-producerís family, my mother moved in the direction of less observant Jewish Zionists and although my grandfather remained Orthodox, his only daughter left the fold.

    Perhaps by making this film, I can better comprehend the choices made by my parents and grandparents, and discover what was sacrificed and what was gained.


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