Film: In the Name of the Father
Available on BBC Four.
Director: Bat-dor Ojalvo
Producer: Yoav Leshem
Extraordinary film based in the Breslov Hasidic community in Yavniel, Israel. The community was founded in the 1980s and led by charismatic leader Rabbi Schick, also known as Mohorosh, who was based in Brooklyn, New York. A controversial figure, Mohorosh welcomed ‘repentant’ Jews who were seeking a sense of community in Yavniel. These could be Jewish people who had lost their faith, committed crimes or simply wanted to live a Breslov Hasidic life with Mohorosh as their spiritual leader.
With a school, a kindergarten, a synagogue, a huge kitchen where the community could eat together and houses built by the community themselves, it was funded by selling holy books and fundraising, and led spiritually by Mohorosh, who largely remained in Brooklyn. However, when Mohorosh died, it emerged that he had left two wills – one leaving leadership of the community and a huge fortune to his son Moishi, and the other benefiting a group of self-selected community leaders.
As a huge fight over his inheritance rages and the community is left without their spiritual leader, stories begin to emerge of a hidden criminal organisation which was extorting millions of dollars, as well as violence, sexual abuse and underage marriages.
Moishi and a number of survivors decided to break the silence, to leave the community and to tell this extraordinary story to director Bat-dor Ojalvo, who spent years earning their trust. Uniquely, she also gained access to some of the community who continue to live according to Mohorosh’s teachings.
With incredible archive and home movies from Yavniel, the film was shot in both Yavniel and
Click HERE for more details.