The Rabbi Goes West
The Rabbi Goes West, directed by Gerald Peary and produced by Amy Geller, tells the story of Chaim Bruk, a 34-year-old Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn who moves to Bozeman, Montana, to bring his Judaism to the American West. To celebrate his love for his adopted state, Rabbi Chaim makes a pledge to put a Mezuzah, an encased prayer offering, on the doorpost of every Montana Jew, all 1,300 of them. As he drives across the state, he meets resistance from other Montana rabbis, Reform and Conservative. They believe that his Mezuzah campaign is a ruse to move their congregants to his synagogue, and they charge that his type of Hasidism is an evangelical cult.
Rabbi Chaim's Orthodox synagogue is a "Chabad House," and the Chabad Hasidic movement has spread around the world to 90 countries and to 50 states in America. Is Rabbi Chaim an enlightened religious figure urging all Jews to embrace their religion in a more committed way? Or is his message a narrow one, that his Orthodox practice is the only true form of Judaism? The Rabbi Goes West shows all sides, and asks viewers to decide for themselves.
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