April 14, 2024
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Frisch Seniors Hold Q&A With ‘93 Queen’ Director Paula Eiselt

Seniors at Yeshivat Frisch got a unique look into the making of the critically-acclaimed documentary “93 Queen,” with a screening of the film and a Q&A session with its director, Paula Eiselt, on November 26.

“93 Queen” follows Judge Rachel (Ruchie) Freier, the Hasidic woman who made headlines when she was elected to the Kings County fifth judicial district in 2016, as she and a group of other dedicated Hasidic women found the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York, called Ezras Nashim. The need for an all-women ambulance corps emerged as a result of two factors: Hatzolah’s ban on women volunteers and the discomfort felt by many women in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community, which adheres to strict customs regarding separation of the genders, when having to rely on male EMTs.

The screening was a joint initiative by four Frisch English teachers, Eiselt, who hails from the Modern Orthodox community and studied film at NYU, proposed the documentary to Freier with a promise to give Hasidic women the voice they lack in both Jewish and general media. Eiselt also discussed her journey as a filmmaker. “It’s about blazing your own path,” Eiselt told the Frisch seniors, encouraging them to seek and accept help from professionals in their chosen fields. “If you’re determined to get something, you’ll find a way to do it.”

Asked by a Frisch senior about what she personally took away from the film and watching Ezras Nashim form, Eiselt answered: “The power to change from within…It comes from the bottom up and from people within those communities making that change. The more you criticize communities the more they double down. Also, don’t stereotype. I met so many women that smashed my stereotypes of Hasidic Jews.”

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