Melbourne’s most secretive Jewish sect, the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel community, has opened its doors to the public for the first time.
Made up of about 200 families who live over a square kilometre block in Ripponlea, the conservative religious group honours ancient rituals dating back to biblical times and follows the strictest interpretation of the commandments in the Torah.
The men wear mink fur hats and black silk coats. Women cover their hair in public. Boys and girls are segregated from kindergarten. Arranged marriages are common. Children in some families number in the teens. During the Sabbath, they refrain from using electricity – no phones, cars, lights. They don’t own televisions. Most shun the internet.
Strictly Jewish is the third and final instalment of a three-part documentary series about hidden subcultures in Australia airing on SBS this month. It airs on April 27. Preview here.
SBS Radio interview about Dan Goldberg’s and Danny Ben-Moshe’s documentary Strictly Jewish allows us into the secret life and practices of the Ultra Orthodox Jewish community, Adass Yisrael, who have kept the same traditions for centuries.