In Satmar Custody (2003)

Genres - Culture & Society, Spirituality & Philosophy  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Religions & Belief Systems, Social Issues  |   Release Date - Apr 6, 2005 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - Israel  |  
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Yahia Jaradi and his wife, Lauza Jaradi, were an Orthodox Jewish couple living in Yemen who were contemplating emigrating to Israel before they were approached by representatives of the Satmars, an ultra Orthodox and anti-Zionist sect based in upstate New York. The Jaradis were told that they would face difficulty and moral treachery in Israel, while employment and education were available to them within the Satmar community. The Jaradis took this advice and came to Rockland County, NY, but once they arrived, Yahia discovered the job available for him was soliciting donations from Jewish families around the country by phone, while the Satmars' schooling covered only Yiddish and the Torah. Yahia and Lauza were already having second thoughts about their decision to join the Satmars when the youngest of their five children, ten-month-old Hadiyah, died suddenly. While the Jadaris were adamant that the death was the result of a fall, local police suspected child abuse, and stripped them of custody of the rest of their children pending trial. The Satmars did not come to the couple's defense, but instead took the children, who the parents believed were being used as part of another fundraising project. Nitzan Gilady, a Israeli filmmaker of Yemen origin, disguised himself as an Orthodox Jew and made his way into the Satmar enclave in Rockland County in order to film In Satmar Custody, a documentary which looks at the Jaradi case and their ongoing conflict with the leaders of the Satmar group.

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Keywords

community, cultural-traditions, culture-clash, deception, Hassidic, heritage, immigration, isolation, Jewish, lure [tempt], promise, religious-order, United-States, Yemen