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  • The Return of Sarah's Daughters

    WPBT-ch2, North Miami, Sunday, September 20, 2 p.m.
    WNET-ch13, NYC, Thursday, September 24, 8 p.m.
    KQED-ch9, San Francisco, Sunday, October 25, 7 p.m.

    Watch for upcoming dates on the PBS stations in: Boston, Atlanta, Tempe, Honolulu, Trenton, Plattsburgh, Salt Lake City, and Springfield, MA.


    The Return of Sarah's Daughters is a compelling personal documentary about secular women drawn to Jewish Orthodoxy. Rus, a no-nonsense social worker,discovers fulfillment in the Hasidic community. Myriam, a spiritually-oriented lesbian, struggles to fit in, but ultimately leaves to become a rabbi. Their stories challenge the filmmaker to give more than a feminist tour of this closed world. She must confront her own lack of ethnic identity. What does tradition have to offer? At what price? Ultimately, her journey illuminates the modern conflicts between assimilation and tradition, community and individualism.

    Featured at CineQuest, The International Documentary Festival; Women in the Director's Chair; the American Cinematheque; and Jewish film festivals across the U.S. and around the world.

    • Cine Golden Eagle
    • Gold Apple, National Educational Media Network
    • 1st Place, Judah Magnes Museum Jewish Video Competition, 1997
    • Recommended by Video Librarian, Library Journal, and ALA Booklist


    "The 'braided lives' of these three soul searchers will be a moving journey for Jews and non-Jews alike-indeed, for anyone seeking answers to the eternal questions of belonging, value, and meaning. . . . A timeless/universal revelation of Jewish life."

    -Library Journal

    "A very personal and generous film about the search for meaning."

    - San Francisco Weekly

    "One of the most sensitive, judicious, and nuanced explorations of the women's relationships to Judaism. . . . it raises questions, invites sympathy, and leaves open space for conversation. "

    - Dr. Lori Lefkovitz
    Director, KOLOT: The Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

    "Goes a long way toward exploring the curious pull of tradition in the modern world. . . . Jarmel's film not only allows us to look in on two very personal lives . . . it also provides us with an alternate model of how to live together in all of our differences."

    - Blu Greenberg
    Orthodox Jewish Feminist
    Author, On Women in Judaism

    "A wonderful window into the hearts and souls of women striving for a community of holy warmth and light. The open-ended, exciting, and involving presentation will keep you reflecting on it time and again."

    - Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi
    Jewish Renewal Movement

    "Rus and Myriam spin in a circle of Jewish sisterhood, a circle transcending choices of affiliation. . . . Sarah's Daughters guides us in learning some of the necessary empathic skills which would make pluralism possible."

    - Vanessa L. Ochs
    Author, Words on Fire
    Senior Fellow, CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

    "Jarmel's provocative film suggests that contemporary Jewish women can't simply go home again, but must find ways to build new homes on traditional foundations."
    - Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
    Union of American Hebrew Congregations

    Contact the producers of "The Return of Sarah's Daughters"

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