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A Life Apart

Directed by: Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky
96 Minutes, 1997, Documentary

In this extraordinarily intimate film, seven years in the making, we are taken into the depths of the Hasidim’s joyous, sometimes harsh, and often beautiful world. With their use of the Yiddish language, their distinctive clothes and their strict observance to Jewish ritual and law, the Hasidim are considered by many an insular people with little connection to mainstream America. And yet their values are those that many Americans find most precious: family, community and a life of meaning.





Director: Menachem Daum and

Director: Oren Rudavsky

Written by: Menachem Daum and Robert Seidman

Producer: Menachem Daum

Producer: Oren Rudavsky

Distributor: First Run Features

Starring (Narrator): Leonard Nimoy

Starring (Narrator): Sarah Jessica Parker

Cast: Zeldy Abromowitz

Cast: Yaffa Eliach

Cast: Chips Gold

Cast: Esther Gold


“The documentary ''A Life Apart: Hasidism in America'' begins and ends with the complex spectacle of a big, ritualized wedding within the world of Hasidic Jews. It's a tribute to the film's illuminating powers that this ceremony is liable to seem quite different by the end of 96 minutes than it does at first.”

-Janet Maslin, the New York Times



A "series of beautifully shot, startlingly intimate interviews…”


New York Post

"Beautiful, mysterious and mesmerizing."


-The San Francisco Bay Guardian

A "unique glimpse into this closed society…"

-the Philadelphia Inquirer