Brief Introduction - The Satmar Community With more than 100,000 strong, the Satmars are the world¹s largest Hassidic sect. They follow an interpretation of Jewish law that is exceptionally strict even in the orthodox world. Their policy is of unrelenting anti-Zionism; like other ultra orthodox they don¹t recognize the state of Israel. However, unlike other extreme orthodox groups, they actively oppose its very existence. They are based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, USA, with a major outpost in Kiryat Joel, in Orange County, NY, USA. A Brief Introduction - The Jewish Yemenite Community in Yemen The Jews of Yemen were dispersed throughout the country, and settled in over a thousand localities. About eighty percent lived in villages – each characterized by its own specific dialect, laws, customs, clothing, etc. The remaining part lived in towns as Sana¹a and Aden. Their Jewish identity was expressed through many aspects of their rich culture, and recognized particularly by its distinctive dress and jewelry. The Satmars wish to embrace all the Yemenite Jews into their community as they know the Yemenite Jews kept ancient traditions from the days of the Second Temple, while they were isolated in Yemen for centuries. Synopsis: In Satmar Custody reveals the story of the Jaradi's, a Jewish Yemenite family, one of many that were brought from Yemen to the US (Monroe, NY) by the Ultra orthodox Satmar Community which operates a propaganda machine against the immigration to Israel. The story exposes a deep cultural gap between the Yemenite families and the Yiddish Satmar Community that became distractive and tragic to families who have traveled thousands of miles to an entirely different planet of their own, with strange rules, norms, morals and lifestyles. Still in Yemen, Yemenite Jewish families are brainwashed by skillful missionaries, unable to defend themselves in the eye of this intricate and deceptive operation. The film follows the life of Yahia and Lauza Jaradi who were brought from Yemen into the Satmar Community. It starts on the day that the Jaradi couple received an urgent phone call notifying that their two and a half year old daughter, Hadia, died in a hospital in Paterson, N.J. Through their search for their daughter's body, they are getting closer and closer to what seems as the very painful truth about her faith.
Written & Directed by: Nitzan GiladyProduced by: Nitzan Gilady - Yona ProductionsSponsored by: The New Foundation for Cinema & Television, Israel's Documentary Channel/Noga Communications, Soros Ducumentary Fund & SBS, Australia
Brief Introduction - The Satmar Community With more than 100,000 strong, the Satmars are the world¹s largest Hassidic sect. They follow an interpretation of Jewish law that is exceptionally strict even in the orthodox world. Their policy is of unrelenting anti-Zionism; like other ultra orthodox they don¹t recognize the state of Israel. However, unlike other extreme orthodox groups, they actively oppose its very existence. They are based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, USA, with a major outpost in Kiryat Joel, in Orange County, NY, USA. A Brief Introduction - The Jewish Yemenite Community in Yemen The Jews of Yemen were dispersed throughout the...
A review by Anita Gates, The New York Times:
"Some people refer to them as missionaries. Others call them recruiters.
They are members of the Satmar Hasidic sect who encourage Jews from
Yemen to move to the United States, with their help. In the case of Yahia
Jaradi, they promised to pay for his food, shelter and religious studies, so he
accepted the offer. To say that the arrangement turned into a nightmare
is an understatement."
The entire article can be found on The New York Time’s website (for subscribers only)
Based in Brooklyn and elsewhere in Greater New York, Satmar refuses to
recognize Israel and lobbies Yemeni Jews to emigrate to its enclaves in
the US instead. The film follows one such Yemeni couple, Yahia and Lauza
Jaradi, whose transplantation to the Satmar community proves disastrous.
For the entire article by Mattias Frey from the Boston Phoenix, please go to:
An article by Joan Dupont, The International Herald Tribute, July 2003
Lotta Schullerqvist's review on IN SATMAR CUSTODY at the Swedish DN CULTUR,
from the press:
“A most stirring and disturbing film…..built like a thriller, in an
atmosphere of mystery.”
Joan Dupont, The International Herald Tribune
"In Satmar Custody has all the requisite elements- tension, pace,
pain, despair, hope, voyeurism and above all, a wonderful sense
of time and place…it is a sensitive, sad and sobering film,
providing a glimpse into the world of Satmar Chassidic Society…
Not to be missed!"
"Watching the film In Satmar Custody is both enraging and difficult,
due to it having been made so well. A feeling of helplessness is
mixed with hoping for a happy ending. The rage bubbles up
simultaneously with waves of sympathy and mercy…"
Zman Tel Aviv, Israel
"This is an outstanding and enraging documentary film, directed
sensitively and expertly…"
Alon Shaul, Leisure Plus, Israel
"In Satmar Custody is a poetry filled with endless sorrow. An
exquisite mixture of brave research, patient, talent and art. Not
to be missed".
Yediot Acharonot, Israel
"This documentary makes a damning accusation against anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidim. After persuading Jews in Yamen-there still are some - to emigrate to the United States instead of to Israel, Israeli filmmaker Nitzan Gilady asserts, the Satmars renege on promises of homes, jobs and financial support and spirit the children away from their parents to raise them as Satmar. The film follows a couple whose five children are removed from their custody when a daughter dies under unresolved circumstances. The sound and visuals are crude but the message is thought-provoking."
Hadassah Magazine, USA