The Jewish community in Manchester is a kaleidoscope of tradition, religion and extravagance. Strictly Kosher revolves around three families and their friends and offers an insight into lifestyles which range from one extreme – orthodox and strict – to the other – traditional and extravagant – reflecting a diverse community bound together by one faith. We meet Bernette, a modern Orthodox Jewish mother of three. Bernette lets us into a way of life marked out by the rituals of circumcisions, bar mitzvahs, match-makings and weddings. Meanwhile, although Joel Lever’s family are Jewish by birth, he admits they are not very religious. Joel puts all his energy into his fashion boutique ‘Mon Amie’, but he still throws a magnificent bat mitzvah party for his daughter’s coming of age. 83-year-old Jack’s family were killed in Belzec Extermination camp in 1942 when he was just 14. Against the odds, Jack survived and made his way to 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. Strictly Kosher opens an entertaining window on a reclusive community and explores its sense of identity, as well as the rituals and celebrations that bind it together.
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