Welcome to the first episode of Bat Ayin, our profile of a unique community in Israel.
The town of Bat Ayin lies in the hills between Jerusalem and Hebron. The population is estimated to be 85% baal teshuva, Jews who weren’t born Orthodox but chose that way of life. Many of the residents are artists, farmers, and/or scholars. All of them share a sense of mission: this is their land, and their vision is essential to the future of the Jewish people.
Our goal with this film series is to show a community of Jews that doesn’t get a lot of exposure beyond the political. The residents of Bat Ayin challenge many assumptions – about what it means to be Jewish, to settle in Israel, and to inhabit, physically and spiritually, the tension between worlds. In a discussion that is often divisive, we want to show you a human, living, breathing side of this one-of-a-kind place.
In our first installment, we follow Shlomo and Rina Shoshana Vile.. They first visited seven years ago, then returned to Chicago, sold their homes, and moved to Bat Ayin for good. They grow their own food, live in the nature around them, and connect their Jewish observance to the very earth they live on and that sustains them.