The Jew in the Lotus

Eight Jewish delegates were invited to India by the Dalai Lama to share the secret of the Jewish people’s spiritual survival in exile.

Independent Lens
Premiere Date
September 1, 1999
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call

Laurel Chiten

Laurel Chiten has been an independent filmmaker for more than 15 years. She is the producer/director of Twitch and Shout, the award-winning documentary about people living with Tourette syndrome, which was nationally broadcast on the PBS series P.O.V. in 1995. Twitch and Shout was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a San Francisco International Film Show more Festival Golden Gate Award. Chiten is also producer/director/co-writer of Two in Twenty, a satirical five-episode soap opera, which remains a cult classic in the home video market. Show less

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Lucia Small

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The Film

Buddhism and Judaism meet head-on when eight rabbis travel to Dharamsala, India for a meeting with the Dalai Lama. Having witnessed the systematic oppression and persecution of his people since his exile in 1959, the Tibetan holy man invited the Jewish leaders to share the secret of spiritual survival in exile. When writer Rodger Kamenetz goes along to chronicle the event, we are reminded that the lessons of spiritual survival apply as much to a troubled individual as they do to a troubled nation.