Father Yaakov

This review was first published as “Can a Polish Priest Be a Jew? Not According to the Law of Return” on The Arty Semite blog of the Forward.

One is tempted to declare that “Torn,” the documentary by Israeli filmmaker Ronit Kertsner making its American debut at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, is about the “Who is a Jew?” question. It is. But it is also about more than that.

The film tells the story of Romuald Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel, a Polish Catholic priest and philosophy professor in his mid-60s who decides he wants to immigrate to Israel. In what is likely the last case of a European priest learning that he was born to Jewish parents killed in the Holocaust, Weksler-Waszkinel decides to embrace his Jewish identity and make aliyah based on the Law of Return.

Click here to read more and view the trailer for “Torn”.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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