Casting “Hasidic Jews Watch ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ For the First Time”


We had so much fun producing this short film, but casting was not easy! Although, to an outsider, it is hard to distinguish between one black hat and beard and another, not every black hatted man has the same beliefs or practices. On the right- wing side of the modern Orthodox world, you will find men who wear black hats on the Sabbath. Within the Hasidic world, there is much diversity too. Two of our actors (the ones without the peyos) are Chabad Lubavitch Hasidim, which means that in general, they are part of a more liberal sector of the Hasidic world and tend to interact more with the larger world. Because of this, it was hard to find guys who had never seen “Fiddler on the Roof” before! Our other two actors are part of Hasidic groups which are generally more conser- vative and less involved with the larger world, however even that group is divided into more “modern Hasidic” and more “ultra Hasidic” elements. So to find people who were willing to watch and be in the video but had not seen in before, too, was a challenge. Thankfully, we were able to find a couple of those guys too!



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Allison Josephs

Allison is the Founder and Director of Jew in the City. Please find her full bio here.