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Spark Among the Ashes
A film by Oren Rudavsky

53 minutes, documentary, color, English, 1986

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Jews of Cracow Await US Bar Mitzvah Boy,” read the New York Times headline, as Eric Strom, a 13-year-old Connecticut boy, stood at the center of a complex human drama that attracted world-wide attention. Cracow’s handful of Jews, survivors of one of the largest Jewish communities prior to World War II, were eager to participate in the first bar mitzvah in their synagogues since the War.

In following the emotional journey of Eric and his family to Poland, the filmmakers capture a riveting story: a woman rabbi faces a storm of controversy over religious traditions and modernity; a holocaust-devastated Jewish community reflects on its past, present and future; a boy comes of age.

Set against the backdrop of the rich heritage of Polish Jewry, Spark Among the Ashes is a landmark film for audiences concerned with the holocaust, cultural survival, and the conflict between orthodox and contemporary religious movements.

A film by Oren Rudavsky, director of Hiding & Seeking and A Life Apart: Hasidism in America. Narrated by Eli Wallach.


"Rich, fascinating & heartwarming!" - The Nation

"Unique charm in this warm, honest documentary!" - Religious News Service

"A dramatic tale filled with humor as well as poignancy!"
- Annette Insdorf, Professor, Columbia University

"Eloquent and moving!" - San Francisco Chronicle


Read FRF's interview with director Oren Rudavsky.

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