A Film Movement film by Yuta Silverman
This drama centers on the friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman employed as first year teachers in a Brooklyn public school. As the women discover that they are both going through the process of arranged marriages, they become closer as they struggle with tradition, family pressure, and the modern world’s rejection of the their value systems.
Be Fruitful and Multiply
A film by Shosh Shlam
For those in the ultra-orthodox community there is no higher commandment than the biblical imperative to "be fruitful and multiply." In many instances this results in families with 10, 12 or even 16 children, as is the case of one Brooklyn mother profiled in this probing documentary. Director Shosh Shlam examines what it must be like for women to spend most of their life either pregnant or nursing. Women who revel in their role as head of their large families are presented as proud and strong female figures. On the other hand, Shlam also presents two ultra-orthodox women who decided to limit their family size. Yentl, who appears in the film without her husband's knowledge, goes so far as to assert that many of these perpetually-pregnant women are not as happy as they claim, but caught up in the peer pressure to produce large families. Be Fruitful and Multiply provokes a fascinating discussion of the choices women make and the role of the ultra-orthodox women.
A film from New Love Films by Yael Katzir
This documentary follows five individual female Israeli soldiers over a five-month period as they train to be prestigious field officers. Throughout the rigorous process, the young women struggle with the arduous physical training and the pressures of being a female in the military. The film documents the experiences of these women as they cross gender boundaries and advance to positions traditionally reserved for men. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
Covenant: Women, God and All Between
A Ruth Diskin Film by Nurit Jacobs-Yinon
This documentary is about women, motherhood, their relationship to God, and how the eight days between birth and circumcision highlight a tension between faith, religious law and the tender feelings of a mother. Why does Covenant require the spilling of blood? How do women connect to a Covenant which for them lacks that sacrificial element? (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
A Ma’aleh film by Liat Cohen
When a married orthodox woman meets a young secular owner of a bookstore, their new relationship provides comfort from her strained marriage and battle with infertility. Drawn to this new world of poetry and literature, she struggles to figure out the life she ultimately wants to lead. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
A Ma’aleh film by Keren Hakak
In this very short film about the clash between tradition and modernity, a young woman celebrating her independence in her new apartment is horrified when her father turns up with a chicken to perform the kaparot ritual. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
A Women Make Movies Film by Anat Zuria
One of the most painful challenges in the Jewish community is that of the agunah, a wife trapped in a dead marriage, chained to a husband who refuses to grant her a religious divorce (Get). Unable to remarry, unable to move forward, these women's lives are passing them by. Anat Zuria offers us a glimpse into the painful personal experiences of Tamara, Michelle and Rachel, three young Israeli women. The film chronicles their individual struggles to obtain a Get from the rabbinical courts with the help of a group of female Orthodox rabbinical court advocates.
Mosque in Morgantown
A film by Brittany Huckabee
A documentary of a West Virginia community mosque challenged by a local Muslim feminist. The conflict becomes a lens for exploring the issues facing American Islam and portrays the struggles of progressive women trying to make change within a religious community.
Newspapers and Flowers
A Ma’aleh film by Micha Ben Shachar
This sweet romantic comedy follows the courtship of two young Modern Orthodox Jews as they struggle with getting to know the person underneath the religious label. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
The Orthodox Way
A Ma’aleh film by Ilan Eshkoli
In this comedy of errors about blind dating, everything that can go wrong does. Will our hero and heroine find true love? This witty farce explores the funnier side of blind dating the Orthodox way. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
A Ma’aleh film by Keren Hakak
Dafna, the 40-year-old single mother of a newborn boy, arrives at her parents’ home a few days before her baby’s brit. While her mother and brother embrace the new member of the family, her father, an elderly Persian Jew, repeatedly snubs Dafna, noting coldly that “a baby needs a father.” Will Dafna’s father be able to transcend his discomfort and agree to be the sandek (godfather) of his first grandson? (In H
A Ma’aleh film by Katie Green
Hedva, an Israeli artist, is faced with the challenge of balancing her career, motherhood, and supporting her husband’s career. When she is invited to exhibit her art in Prague, she faces a difficult decision. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
The Rabbi’s Daughter and the Midwife
A Go2Films by Ron Ofer and Yohai Hakak
Two ultra-Orthodox women work towards creating positive change within their community as they try to fight poverty in Israel’s Haredi slums. One of the women, the daughter of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, establishes a college for Haredi women to get a degree. The other, a nurse and midwife, creates a charitable foundation to help Haredi women with the burden of raising large families in poverty while their husbands dedicate themselves to the study of Torah. The second part of Haredim - A Documentary Trilogy. (In Hebrew and English with English and Hebrew subtitles)
A Ma’aleh film by Miryam Adler
A young woman with five small children struggles with issues of family planning, weighing her own needs, her husband’s expectations, and the halakhic imperatives. (In Hebrew with English subtitles). Adult Content.
A hit new television show in Israel, Srugim portrays the lives of five young, modern-Orthodox singles living in Jerusalem, dealing with religious life and dating in contemporary Israel. The show follows the lives of the young men and women striving to lead religious lives in a secular world, who must cope with the sometimes suffocating expectations of their families and communities, all the while searching for a mate. Srugim was the winner of a number of accolades at the Israel Academy of Television 2009 awards, including Best Series of the Year, Best Script of the Year, and Best Actress. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
by Beverly Siegel
This film documents the experiences of modern-day “agunot,” or women whose husbands refuse to grant them a Jewish divorce. According to traditional Jewish law, a woman who is an “aguna” (from the Hebrew word meaning “chained”) cannot re-marry. Narrated by actress Mayim Bialik (Blossom, The Big Bang Theory) and featuring an original score by guitarist C Lanzbom, lead singer of Soul Farm,Women Unchained offers strategies for what women can do to protect themselves and why the issue matters to all Jews.