For more than a year, TV cameras were given unique access into a secret subculture: the 200 families of the Adass Israel community, Australia’s most ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, as they strive to maintain their ancient faith in the modern world. Though they themselves shun television and the seductive temptations and trappings of modernity, they agreed to go on camera for the very first time. But not everyone inside this ultra-strict, ultra-insular and virtually self-sufficient community approved: some members opposed the filming because they view exposure to the outside world as a challenge to their strictly Jewish way of life, which largely comprises of piety and prayer. Told through the eyes of three members – Raizel Fogel, Shlomo Abelesz and Rabbi Aryeh Goldman – Strictly Jewish lifts the lid on this closely guarded Jewish sect, revealing a community steeped in ancient rites and rituals, and managing to maintain an ancient faith more than 5000 years old.
Strictly Jewish, the third documentary in three-part series Untold Australia, aired 27 April on SBS.