The short film The 10th Man is about a small group of Jewish men trying to gather together a minyan (the minimum number of 10 men traditionally required for certain religious obligations) in a real, East End synagogue on the most holy day of the year – the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

As you watch this film, try to spot the different attitudes to Judaism represented. Be prepared to feedback your ideas to the whole class after watching.


 © All rights reserved Baby Cow films; written and directed by Sam Leifer; produced by Sam Leifer & Teddy Leifer; executive Producers – Steve Coogan, Henry Normal & Celia Atkin  


  • Describe the different types of Jewish men represented in The 10th Man.
  • What does this film suggest about the Jewish community in the East End where this synagogue is located?
  • Now look through these images of the Charedi Jewish community in Hackney today.  In what ways are these images similar and different to your experience of Judaism?


The connection between religion and identity can be very complex.

For some people, religion is a central part of who they are.  For other people, religion is something they are given by their parents; they participate in family rituals but do not consider themselves religious.  Some people do not inherit religion from their parents and so it is not a part of their identity at all whilst others may become religious as they get older.

Judaism is particularly interesting in terms of identity because whilst many Jewish people are very observant of Jewish laws and customs, others who are less observant still identify themselves as Jewish.

  • What part does your religion play in your identity?  How important to you is it and why?
  • How important is religious observance in your family life?  Try to explain the attitudes held towards religious laws, rituals and customs in your family.

   © Andrew Aitchison


Ask your family about their attitudes towards religion.

  • How do they define their levels of religious observance?  
  • How do they regard people more and less religious than themselves?
  • How do you feel about your family’s attitude to people more and less religious than you?