Back to All Events

Film@IIJS: The Unorthodox

  • Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies 1140 Amsterdam Ave. New York United States (map)

When Yakov Cohen’s teenage daughter is expelled from her Orthodox yeshiva in 1983 because her Sephardic ethnicity is deemed "not a good fit" with the Ashkenazi majority, he decides to fight back. Yakov (Shuli Rand) runs a print shop in Jerusalem with no political experience, no money, and no connections; all he has is the will to organize for equal representation for his religious Sephardic community. As he builds allies in his new political movement to join the Jerusalem City Council, Yakov also makes powerful enemies who threaten his business and community standing. This mostly-true underdog story, visually styled like "American Hustle" and "The Big Short," culminates at the Israeli Knesset, where Yakov's movement becomes the Shas Party, a powerful force in Israeli politics to this day. (99 min)

Supported by the generosity of the Kaye and Radov families.