A film by Miki Katoni
2022, 32 minutes
No. 400

A moving and powerful short documentary, Queer and Frum is the story of two former Orthodox Jews, Chaim Levin and Lieba Swartz-Brownstein, in their unique journeys to becoming openly queer. 

Chaim, from the Chabad Lubavitch community in Crown Heights, starts his journey reading the anti-homosexuality verse for his Bar Mitzvah and ends it by defeating the conversion therapy group JONAH in court, proving them of fraud. Lieba starts her journey by converting into Jewish orthodoxy and moving to New York to study at Yeshiva University and ends it by falling in love with a woman and having a coming out party. 

Chaim and Lieba's stories are contrasted with the Orthodox perspective supplemented by interviews and scenes from within the community.

"Haredi Jews won a legal battle against conversion therapy — a new film shows the fight’s not over... Queer and Frum explores life after coming out. Katoni’s film uses home videos, diary entries and trial testimony to explain how Levin’s case shifted the landscape around conversion therapy for some in the Orthodox world." - The Forward