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Published on Mar 18, 2012
All rights belong to ITV.
The Jewish community in Manchester is a kaleidoscope of tradition, religion and extravagance. This documentary film opens a window into their lives and shows a wide variety of ritual and celebrations.
Strictly Kosher, filmed, produced and directed by Chris Malone, revolves around three families and their friends and paints a colourful picture of the juxtaposition between the many different personalities and levels of religious observance in Manchester's Jewish community. It offers an insight into lifestyles which range from one extreme -- traditional and strict - to the other -- modern and extravagant - but are bound together by one faith.
The film follows Bernette Clarke, a very lively and modern Orthodox Jewish mother of three. Bernette talks openly about her faith, explains the traditional approach her family has to the Sabbath and other Jewish festivals, and offers her views on the wider Jewish community.
Joel Lever and his wife Joanne also allow the cameras into their lives. Joel's family are traditionally Jewish by birth, but he admits they are not very religious. Joel puts his all into his fashion boutique 'Mon Amie' which is frequented by the Jewish ladies of Prestwich -- by making the Jewish women the talk of the town, he feels he is serving the local community.
83-year-old Jack Aizenberg tells the ultimate rags to riches story. He was just eleven years old at the outbreak of the Second World War and his family were killed in Belzec Extermination camp in 1942 when he was just 14. Against the odds Jack survived and made his way to Manchester, England in 1945. Jack feels that religion is not as important as basic common humanity and does not practice all the requirements of the Jewish faith, but he's a celebrated survivor venerated by the Jewish community in Manchester. Having made a successful career in the luggage trade, Jack is thrilled to have the money to throw his grandson a lavish Bar Mitzvah -- a special moment caught on camera.