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Project of the Day: Breaking Away from Orthodox Judaism

Project of the Day: Breaking Away from Orthodox Judaism

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Tweetable Logline:

At 16, Anna broke away from Orthodox Judaism. Years later, she follows 3 teenagers as they embark on a year of spiritual discovery in Israel

Elevator Pitch:

Unorthodox follows three teenagers from the modern Orthodox community as they spend a post-high school year studying in Israel. Tzipi, an intellectually gifted young woman, travels with intentions of clarifying her problems with Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law. Jake, a musician, doesn’t see how he can reconcile his faith with his professional ambitions. Chaim, a half-Dominican bad-boy, undertakes his year of study without thinking about the possibilities of religious growth. Narration throughout the film weaves Anna’s own story—of leaving the Orthodox community—with that of the three subjects, lending a very personal glimpse into the world of Orthodox Judaism.

Production Team:

Writer/Director/Producer: Anna Wexler
Cinematographer/Director/Producer: Nadja Oertelt
Associate Producer: Shira Katz

About the Production:

“At sixteen, I broke away from the strict Orthodox Jewish community in which I was raised. After high school, my friends, like almost everyone from the community, went to spend a year studying in a seminary in Israel. When they returned to America one year later, nearly all of them had chosen to become extremely observant. I wanted to better understand why my friends had undergone this dramatic religious transformation—so years later, my co-director Nadja Oertelt and I set out to follow three teenagers as they embarked on this journey of spiritual renewal in Israel. ” — Anna Wexler

Current Status:


For more information and to support this project:

Film Website
Kickstarter Page

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