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New York - Apology Not Accepted, Says Hikind, As Director Of Movie About Former Chasidim Backtracks On Controversial Holocaust Remarks

Published on: October 22, 2017 02:59 PM
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Film director Heidi Ewing speaking to anchor Jeff GlorFilm director Heidi Ewing speaking to anchor Jeff Glor

New York - The director of a newly released documentary that shares the story of three former members of the Chasidic community who were ostracized after choosing to adopt a different lifestyle has apologized for controversial remarks that she made about the Holocaust during an interview on the nationally syndicated Charlie Rose talk show.

Heidi Ewing, co-director of the Netflix documentary ‘One of Us’, was discussing the differences between Brooklyn’s contemporary Chasidic community living in Brooklyn and Europe’s pre-war Chasidic communities with host Jeff Glor on October 19th when she made a statement that seemed to suggest that only outwardly identifiable Jews were killed during the Holocaust and that Chasidic Jews were partly to blame for their own deaths.

“The vast majority of Chasidic Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust partly because they refused to blend in,” said Ewing.  “They kept wearing the clothing, they sort of were loud and proud about their identity and the vast majority died during the Holocaust.”

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Watch below the full interview Ewing gave to anchor Jeff Glor

Contacted via Facebook Messenger to discuss her comment, Ewing responded with a statement saying, “I am sorry if my words on Charlie Rose caused any pain and would like to clarify their meaning. The devastating losses that the Jewish community suffered at the hand of the Nazis is unspeakable. Almost half the population of world Jewry was destroyed by the Nazis and the collaborators, whole communities destroyed. In the midst of this sweeping genocide, Hasidic Jews suffered disproportionate losses during the Holocaust partially because they were more easily identified and therefore had more difficulty hiding. This has been documented by multiple historians. It took great courage for Hasidic Jews at that time to refuse to change their appearance to look more like the general European public. I am only filled with respect and admiration for any person who chooses to live their own truth.”

Ewing, who lives in what she describes as an “ultra-Orthodox” neighborhood in Brooklyn, declined to comment any further on her statement.

In an interview that ran in The Times of Israel (http://bit.ly/2xY7Bcp) on the same day as the Charlie Rose segment, Ewing said that she is a non-practicing Catholic while Grady described herself as “a secular Jew” who “went to temple on Yom Kippur.”  According to Ewing, the two women whose previous documentaries have also delved into other religious waters, are “fascinated by religion but have no problem with religion.”

“Practice and believe what you want, but when you have a community like a large portion of the Hasidic community that goes unchecked and has its own laws, it’s a witches’ brew - a recipe for disaster,” said Ewing. “This happens across all religions. No judgment until there is a poisonous element when misogynist faiths run by men get twisted.”

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is mentioned in the Times of Israel article as being the Chasidic community’s “own guy on the assembly,” said that he found Ewing’s comments to be extremely distasteful.

“To make this kind of statement is inexcusable and that apology is not accepted on any level,” Hikind told VIN News.  “This is hateful gross ignorance that has caused harm and pain. For some reason, people today seem to think that they can just say anything and get away with it and it is amazing that in 2017 people think they can still spout such ignorance.”



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Read Comments (36)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 22, 2017 at 03:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Ewing is another self hating person dancing onto anyone who wld speak ill on our lifestyle. Sorry but I have seen too many "enlightened" FOOTSTEPS teenagers commiting suicide or on the verge of or died from drug anuse. Done with this nonesense. Let these so called abused people live the hell of life they choose to and have to reckon only with the one above. Weve seen too much disgruntled kids falling off the fold and blaming our lifestyle. Crap!
I saw love with my own eyes to a confused teenager in a real hassidic home. She was never ostracized. On the contrary, she was loved and cared for and never wanted to leave home. WHY?! Cuz her parents did EVERYHNG right for her and theres EVERYTHING wrong with her. So stop with the abused sheltered hyperbole. These people hate us and will dig dirt up from the wall.
Yes! Theysre troubled sad sick teenagers and theres bothing we can do about it but they had a beautiful youth and noone to blame.

2

 Oct 22, 2017 at 03:29 PM georgeg Says:

Implicit in what they said is that women who dress provocatively as asking to be raped.

3

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:08 PM grandbear Says:

ON the contrary the hatred of the jews in germany was the effect of the intermarriage of jews and the gentiles. The german history is filled with jew hatred that blossomed in the period before WW1 .Their culture of pure race and the phantasy of the germanic tribes fostered anti semitism,.It was the jew that dressed in the fashion of the gentile that was provocative and threatening .

4

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:09 PM lipa101 Says:

Hitler YM"S didn't look for chasidim. HE SEARCHED ANCESTRY OF ALL JEWS HY"D ........................ she needs to talk to the few Holocaust survivors that are still around to get the REAL FACTS.............

5

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:21 PM Yoely Says:

She doesn’t know what the hell shes talking about. She clearly got her information from people who’s intentions are to paint this dark brush on all Hasidic Jews. Some of things she says might be true but those are isolated incidents.
"A handful of families have all the money and they share it?!?" How about the Hasidic jews are very generous and give an enormous amount of charity.
She’s got some bad info!

6

 Oct 22, 2017 at 03:59 PM Reb Yid Says:

Clueless ToI article. Hikind is Cassidy's own guy in assembly? He may help them, but he's certainly not one of them

7

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:35 PM RobertS Says:

Regarding dressing to "blend in", I would borrow from Bernard Malamud, "If you ever forget you are a Jew, a gentile will remind you"

8

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:29 PM bplady Says:

Ewing who is not Jewish, is talking out of ignorance. Today, through the internet, any off the derech person, can spew hatred towards us. I hate the fact that a hating Jewish person got together with a goy to make a movie putting down her own community and making us look horrible. Don't these Jews realize that by putting down the frume, they are making all Jews look bad? Are they trying to get the goyim to hate us more, to find fuel for their hatred? If one day, there would be an uprising towards the Jews, chas v'shalom, all these otd's would be right there part of it.

9

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:43 PM Anonymous Says:

She obviously never learned the Tochacha .

10

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:51 PM favish Says:

baloney, it wasnt documented by nobody. and if yes they are just as balony

11

 Oct 22, 2017 at 05:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
RobertS Says:

Regarding dressing to "blend in", I would borrow from Bernard Malamud, "If you ever forget you are a Jew, a gentile will remind you"

Brilliant. Thanks for that quote from one of my favorite authors.

12

 Oct 22, 2017 at 05:24 PM YouGottaBeKidding Says:

"when she made a statement that seemed to suggest that only outwardly identifiable Jews were killed during the Holocaust and that Chasidic Jews were partly to blame for their own deaths."

Really, VIN? Is that really how you understood her? That ONLY frum Jews were killed? That it was their own fault? She literally said nothing of the sort. Liberals these days are obsessed with fake outrage. I expected better from VIN news. Oy bashefer, how can people fool themselves so?

13

 Oct 22, 2017 at 05:35 PM Clear thinker Says:

This woman is wholly unqualified to make a documentary about chasidim. Moreover she demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the holocaust and shouldn’t be talking about it in a public forum.

14

 Oct 22, 2017 at 06:05 PM imhumble Says:

The film maker is ignorant. it is obvious from her comments that she is unaware that Hitler did not care about how a Jew dressed. He killed Germans who wore contemporary clothing at the same rate as Chasidim. He even gassed Jews who intermarried. Total nonesense.And just as bplady says if chas v'shalom, it should never ever happen that Hitler returned looking for Jews the movie stars in "One of Us" would be taken together with the Chasidim.Hitler didnt discriminate what kind of Jew you were...chasid, reform or OTD.
Additionally,I have seen the film and it too is full of distrortions and dishonesty. The men are pathetically unhappy frustrated people and the woman claims to be abused by her husband has a history of mental illness. How desperate are these film makers to distort facts and rely on unstable people for information?? pathetic!
Dov Hikind, dont lower yorself to their level.

15

 Oct 22, 2017 at 06:22 PM favish Says:

Reply to #3  
grandbear Says:

ON the contrary the hatred of the jews in germany was the effect of the intermarriage of jews and the gentiles. The german history is filled with jew hatred that blossomed in the period before WW1 .Their culture of pure race and the phantasy of the germanic tribes fostered anti semitism,.It was the jew that dressed in the fashion of the gentile that was provocative and threatening .

like you say...a yid from germany told me that a german told him (of those those times), 'You dont bother me, what bothers me is that when i go to the opra and the balkony seats are already take by the upper class snobby (assimilated) jews'

Like the famous saying 'The Trotskeys(Liebele Bernstein) incite the gentiles and the(Leibele...) Bersteins suffer

16

 Oct 22, 2017 at 06:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Ewing is another self hating person dancing onto anyone who wld speak ill on our lifestyle. Sorry but I have seen too many "enlightened" FOOTSTEPS teenagers commiting suicide or on the verge of or died from drug anuse. Done with this nonesense. Let these so called abused people live the hell of life they choose to and have to reckon only with the one above. Weve seen too much disgruntled kids falling off the fold and blaming our lifestyle. Crap!
I saw love with my own eyes to a confused teenager in a real hassidic home. She was never ostracized. On the contrary, she was loved and cared for and never wanted to leave home. WHY?! Cuz her parents did EVERYHNG right for her and theres EVERYTHING wrong with her. So stop with the abused sheltered hyperbole. These people hate us and will dig dirt up from the wall.
Yes! Theysre troubled sad sick teenagers and theres bothing we can do about it but they had a beautiful youth and noone to blame.

Footsteps takes in people who are already predisposed to suicide.

17

 Oct 22, 2017 at 04:56 PM favish Says:

Reply to #7  
RobertS Says:

Regarding dressing to "blend in", I would borrow from Bernard Malamud, "If you ever forget you are a Jew, a gentile will remind you"

... and thats what the medresh says begining parshes tezaveh...'why are jews compared to olive oil , just like olive oil mixed with water it will swim up, so too jews will try to assimilate with gentiles they will be forced up'!
also mentioned thruout talmud. and to these news ladies.....gods word is everlasting whether you blieve in his exsitance or not..

18

 Oct 22, 2017 at 07:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Footsteps takes in people who are already predisposed to suicide.

Hope ur not condoning FOOTSTEPS now. They do not! My innocent friend was not! She was wacky but not suicidal but aftr joining them for "strength" is now rolling in the train stations. FOOTSTEPS are disgruntled worms of the world that seek to attract people that are only half in the dumps. They are the worst of humanity.

19

 Oct 22, 2017 at 07:29 PM Gabeklein Says:

I'm not or sure which I find more distasteful, Mayim bialik's suggestion that a woman may be to blame for getting sexually harrased due to her mode of dress, or this disgusting piece of white trash's suggestion that Hasidim choice of dress, was to blame for getting murdered during the holocaust.....
But what disgusts me more is the hypocritical liberal media giving Ewing a pass while dragging bialik through the mud,
I'd give bialik the pass, because at least she has some talent

20

 Oct 22, 2017 at 10:51 PM zoifunny Says:

Ironically the holocaust started in Germany where most of the jewish population was not even religious let alone Hassidic.....

21

 Oct 22, 2017 at 11:27 PM Moishe_Mechel Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Ewing is another self hating person dancing onto anyone who wld speak ill on our lifestyle. Sorry but I have seen too many "enlightened" FOOTSTEPS teenagers commiting suicide or on the verge of or died from drug anuse. Done with this nonesense. Let these so called abused people live the hell of life they choose to and have to reckon only with the one above. Weve seen too much disgruntled kids falling off the fold and blaming our lifestyle. Crap!
I saw love with my own eyes to a confused teenager in a real hassidic home. She was never ostracized. On the contrary, she was loved and cared for and never wanted to leave home. WHY?! Cuz her parents did EVERYHNG right for her and theres EVERYTHING wrong with her. So stop with the abused sheltered hyperbole. These people hate us and will dig dirt up from the wall.
Yes! Theysre troubled sad sick teenagers and theres bothing we can do about it but they had a beautiful youth and noone to blame.

self hating ? she's a non practicing Catholic , read the article before you comment

22

 Oct 22, 2017 at 11:37 PM Dark Says:

I just watch this video. all these people casting in this documentary have one agenda. To paste a very dark and ugly picture about chasidim. They ablame personal stories on chasidim. they don't see themselves. They had very hard upbringing and blame everyone and everything that happened to them. I'm so sorry for them but it will not get them anywhere just go on a life and be successful .stop blaming the chadisha community it is a beautiful Community with full of beautiful aspects to it. and of course downsides Just like any other community in the world.

23

 Oct 23, 2017 at 01:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
favish Says:

like you say...a yid from germany told me that a german told him (of those those times), 'You dont bother me, what bothers me is that when i go to the opra and the balkony seats are already take by the upper class snobby (assimilated) jews'

Like the famous saying 'The Trotskeys(Liebele Bernstein) incite the gentiles and the(Leibele...) Bersteins suffer

You're sounding as bad as these women, Hitler went after EVERYONE that was 1/4th Jewish whether you were German elite or Polish chasidish. Oh & Germany had more elite Jews than Poland who had many chasidim, therefore obviously a German would complain about the elite Jew than the German chassid that he didn't know existed.

24

 Oct 23, 2017 at 01:33 AM Anonymous Says:

While there are issues in the chasidish world, there are just as many in every other sect, but that didn't cause Hitler to kill more chasidim than any others & I'm certain that didn't occur. It is fact they wanted rabbanim, but they wanted anyone who was the head of their society so they can bring moral down

25

 Oct 23, 2017 at 05:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
grandbear Says:

ON the contrary the hatred of the jews in germany was the effect of the intermarriage of jews and the gentiles. The german history is filled with jew hatred that blossomed in the period before WW1 .Their culture of pure race and the phantasy of the germanic tribes fostered anti semitism,.It was the jew that dressed in the fashion of the gentile that was provocative and threatening .

There were two or three distinct and separate factors in the Nazi anti-semitism. Their racial purity theory sought to eradicate xtianity, which it claimed had debased the authentic Aryan worldview of might is right. They described xtianity as a Jewish plot against Aryans, so the Jews must go as well because the offshoot won't die as long as the root lives. To the middle classes they sold the story of Jewish wealth controlling the world, and to the upper classes they sold the story of the snobby rich Jews.

26

 Oct 23, 2017 at 05:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Gabeklein Says:

I'm not or sure which I find more distasteful, Mayim bialik's suggestion that a woman may be to blame for getting sexually harrased due to her mode of dress, or this disgusting piece of white trash's suggestion that Hasidim choice of dress, was to blame for getting murdered during the holocaust.....
But what disgusts me more is the hypocritical liberal media giving Ewing a pass while dragging bialik through the mud,
I'd give bialik the pass, because at least she has some talent

Bialik doesn't come into this. She was just trying to assuage her conscience after the yontoivim, and still going back to something that she knows she should not be doing.

27

 Oct 23, 2017 at 08:17 AM Take A Knee Says:

Some liberals are really sick individuals.

28

 Oct 23, 2017 at 09:54 AM Don't Burn Books... Says:

...you haven't read. "One of Us" is a very disturbing movie...it contains exaggerations...and is one-sided...but it also exposes uncomfortable truths. See the movie.

29

 Oct 23, 2017 at 11:50 AM Common! Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Ewing is another self hating person dancing onto anyone who wld speak ill on our lifestyle. Sorry but I have seen too many "enlightened" FOOTSTEPS teenagers commiting suicide or on the verge of or died from drug anuse. Done with this nonesense. Let these so called abused people live the hell of life they choose to and have to reckon only with the one above. Weve seen too much disgruntled kids falling off the fold and blaming our lifestyle. Crap!
I saw love with my own eyes to a confused teenager in a real hassidic home. She was never ostracized. On the contrary, she was loved and cared for and never wanted to leave home. WHY?! Cuz her parents did EVERYHNG right for her and theres EVERYTHING wrong with her. So stop with the abused sheltered hyperbole. These people hate us and will dig dirt up from the wall.
Yes! Theysre troubled sad sick teenagers and theres bothing we can do about it but they had a beautiful youth and noone to blame.

I suppose you think the community has done a splendid job of dealing with sex abuse of children, never attacks the victims of such abuse, never shields the abusers, and treats those who go OTD with respect and compassion...right?

30

 Oct 23, 2017 at 12:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
YouGottaBeKidding Says:

"when she made a statement that seemed to suggest that only outwardly identifiable Jews were killed during the Holocaust and that Chasidic Jews were partly to blame for their own deaths."

Really, VIN? Is that really how you understood her? That ONLY frum Jews were killed? That it was their own fault? She literally said nothing of the sort. Liberals these days are obsessed with fake outrage. I expected better from VIN news. Oy bashefer, how can people fool themselves so?

You gotta be kidding! There is no question that the majority of Jews killed were none-Chasidic and not identifiabe as Jews. Her statement does suggest that only thise who were identifiable (such as by their Chasidic garb) were targeted.

31

 Oct 23, 2017 at 01:33 PM Duvidl Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Ewing is another self hating person dancing onto anyone who wld speak ill on our lifestyle. Sorry but I have seen too many "enlightened" FOOTSTEPS teenagers commiting suicide or on the verge of or died from drug anuse. Done with this nonesense. Let these so called abused people live the hell of life they choose to and have to reckon only with the one above. Weve seen too much disgruntled kids falling off the fold and blaming our lifestyle. Crap!
I saw love with my own eyes to a confused teenager in a real hassidic home. She was never ostracized. On the contrary, she was loved and cared for and never wanted to leave home. WHY?! Cuz her parents did EVERYHNG right for her and theres EVERYTHING wrong with her. So stop with the abused sheltered hyperbole. These people hate us and will dig dirt up from the wall.
Yes! Theysre troubled sad sick teenagers and theres bothing we can do about it but they had a beautiful youth and noone to blame.

Sorry to burst your bubble with 'facts' - but Footsteps has actually managed to held the wave of Suicide. In the past two years, there wasn't even a single suicide of a Footsteps member - at the same time that suicide of Hasidic kids who don't fir in, but haven't join Footsteps, is sadly on the rise.
In the 14 years of Footsteps existence, they only had 3 suicides. While this is 3 to many, out of their over +1500 members, the percent is lower than the general population!

32

 Oct 23, 2017 at 02:37 PM lokshen_cafe Says:

Reply to #29  
Common! Says:

I suppose you think the community has done a splendid job of dealing with sex abuse of children, never attacks the victims of such abuse, never shields the abusers, and treats those who go OTD with respect and compassion...right?

I think on sex abuse they need a tikkun, but i think elsewhere is happening the same thing. when the abuser is more well connected then the victim, this is what happens ie wienstien, O'reily, aills. I know that wasn't child molestation buy i doubt they would behave differently if it were. however that doesn't make it right, but it isn't proprietary to the Hasidim,
regarding what you say about treating them with respect, my experience is that they get treated very well, some times boys that are still on the derech say they want to go OTD so everyone should be nice to r=them, as he see's that the OTD get special treatment.
regarding the documentary: i think it doesn't touch the real problems in the Chassidishe community, which they have problems like every other community,and like there is problems for those who don't belong to any community, but their problems are not those mentioned in the Documentary, does are just a few poor kids that had a messed up upbringing which again happens everywhere,
and BTW the Documentary is not a good job i find it very Boring.

33

 Oct 23, 2017 at 03:10 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #32  
lokshen_cafe Says:

I think on sex abuse they need a tikkun, but i think elsewhere is happening the same thing. when the abuser is more well connected then the victim, this is what happens ie wienstien, O'reily, aills. I know that wasn't child molestation buy i doubt they would behave differently if it were. however that doesn't make it right, but it isn't proprietary to the Hasidim,
regarding what you say about treating them with respect, my experience is that they get treated very well, some times boys that are still on the derech say they want to go OTD so everyone should be nice to r=them, as he see's that the OTD get special treatment.
regarding the documentary: i think it doesn't touch the real problems in the Chassidishe community, which they have problems like every other community,and like there is problems for those who don't belong to any community, but their problems are not those mentioned in the Documentary, does are just a few poor kids that had a messed up upbringing which again happens everywhere,
and BTW the Documentary is not a good job i find it very Boring.

The documentary at least is coherent...it's torturous to read your comment. Where did you ever learn to write?

More important, your arguments are deeply flawed:

The Weinstein, O'Reilly and Trump sex abuse allegations involve abuse of power by wealthy and powerful predatory individuals. The sex abuse issue in the Chareidi velt is much different; it involves a community often in denial, slavish believing in the "helige" nature of alleged abusers.

Furthermore, anyone who has witnessed the long-term trauma of OTD adolescents (I witnessed it in the context of a son of a very close friend in Rockland County) will tell you that you are talking through your hat.

34

 Oct 23, 2017 at 03:56 PM samthenylic Says:

Reply to #7  
RobertS Says:

Regarding dressing to "blend in", I would borrow from Bernard Malamud, "If you ever forget you are a Jew, a gentile will remind you"

As Rabbi Gifter, the Telshe Rosh Yeshiva said, "If the Yid doesn't make Kiddush, The Gentile makes havdala!" You better remember it.
The ONLY things that keeps us Yiden, is our LEVUSH, NAME, and LANGUAGE.

35

 Oct 23, 2017 at 06:30 PM ApologyNOTaccepted? Says:

Remember, that this woman is just a movie director. She said something that was misunderstood, or she was misinformed, but is classy enough to admit her error, and backtrack. She doesn't need the frum world's approval. However, when Dov Hikind makes himself blackface on Purim, and shows himself up to be a racist, he doesn't have the courtesy to backtrack and apologize. Now, all we need is this Jewish Al Sharpton's offspring as city councilman. Oy, Rabboinoi shel oilem.

36

 Oct 24, 2017 at 06:40 PM lokshen_cafe Says:

Reply to #33  
yonasonw Says:

The documentary at least is coherent...it's torturous to read your comment. Where did you ever learn to write?

More important, your arguments are deeply flawed:

The Weinstein, O'Reilly and Trump sex abuse allegations involve abuse of power by wealthy and powerful predatory individuals. The sex abuse issue in the Chareidi velt is much different; it involves a community often in denial, slavish believing in the "helige" nature of alleged abusers.

Furthermore, anyone who has witnessed the long-term trauma of OTD adolescents (I witnessed it in the context of a son of a very close friend in Rockland County) will tell you that you are talking through your hat.

just informing you! that have several Family member's who are OTD and I am very close to them,

so I didn't write my comment that the Blame is on them, and my comment didnt say that they are going through very hard time's,

I just said that the Documentary didn't present well the real Problems that our community has.
as the problems with those in that Documentary isn't Davkah in the Hassidic community,

what you say about the Helige nature of the abuser, on that I agree, and that of itself is a problem not only when it comes to sexual abuse, but on the whole idea of believing in people as Heilig (brainwashing) give them unlimited power for no good reason.

Enjoy

p.s. I hope this time you dont have a hard time reading it, I try my best.

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