Jew by Choice

  • Antenna IDFF Sydney
  • Berlin beyond FF
  • Guangzhou IDFF
  • Hotdogs Filmmaker
  • Hotdogs top10
  • idfa
  • Canadian sport FF
  • One world FF Bratislava
  • One world FF Prag
  • Verzio Human Rights DFF
  • E-Dox FF

They have chosen to leave everything behind them. Their family, friends, language, culture, and old faith. Three Germans go to Israel and convert to the Jewish faith: the former judge Yael Jenner, the nurse Secharjah Schwarzkopf, and Nico B., a young man finding his way between career and calling.




30/52 min


David Bernet and Robert Ralston


Being Jewish entails much more than a profession of faith. It means more than being – normally – the child of a Jewish mother and a member of the Jewish people. It is more than the observance of religious law and a life in accordance with the Jewish calendar. Jewishness can only be comprehended in its totality: as a culture, a tradition and a religion. In the current political situation, and with its history of thousands of years of pogroms and persecution, Jewish identity seems to be characterised by one thing in particular: a common fate.

How will the converts make a home for themselves within this culture? How will they ever find their place in a religious community that was not simply waiting to take them into the fold, and whose past can never be their own? How will they settle in a state that has not known peace since its founding in 1948, and in which attacks and military actions are part of everyday life?

“Jew by Choice” is an extraordinary document of intimate moments, conversations and observations. The film depicts a difficult and perhaps never-ending transition between worlds.

Written and directed by
David Bernet
Robert Ralston

Robert Ralston

Sarah J. Levine

David Bernet

Jan Tillmann Schade
Orna Ralston

Eva Rink
Yael Ben Shloosh

Executive Producer
Christian Beetz
Idan Regev

Commissioning Editors
Andrea Ernst (WDR)
Yosi Mulla (Channel 2 Israel)

The Cleaners
88 min
  • „Just in diesem Moment überraschen uns die aus dem Theaterbereich stammenden jungen Regisseure Hans Block und Moritz Riesewieck mit einem erstaunlichen Dokumentarfilm, der seit Monaten Publikum und Kritik auf den wichtigsten Festivals der Welt elektrisiert. Völlig zu Recht: Es ist, als würden einem die Scheuklappen weggerissen, als sähe man das, was sich seit Jahren direkt vor unseren Augen abspielt, zum ersten Mal unverschleiert... eine fesselnde ,Doku noir' mit höchstem Anspruch...Dieser Film müsste an allen Schulen gezeigt werden.“
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In co-production with

  • wdr

Produced by

  • Beetz
Idan Regev Productions

In co-production with

  • wdr
  • channel 2

In collaboration with

  • arte

Supported by

  • media
  • EU Commission
  • FFA Filmförderungsanstalt
  • DFFF
  • medienboard

Supported by

  • media
  • EED
  • nrw