A Kaddish for Selim

On the eve of WWI, a young British Jew has to change his name in order to join the army to fight and die for King and Empire.



Running time

15' 16"

Directed by

Jane Wells

Produced by

3 Generations

London 1912: A young Jew has to change his name in order to join the British army. When war breaks out in 1914, he is sent to Egypt and then Gallipoli to fight for King and Empire.

A Kaddish for Selim had its World Premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center on January 13.

Assembled from recently discovered family photographs and a handful of letters, this short film tells the story of a child of immigrants who died for their adopted country. A story that is still familiar today: for what clearer sign of assimilation and loyalty is there than to volunteer to fight for one’s country? The challenges Jews faced in Britain a century ago were a friction point in the First World War, yet many did serve loyally and A Kaddish for Selim tells the story of one of the two thousand three hundred who died.


Trevor Laird – Percy Jupp

Ned Wolfgang Kelly – Selim Bernstein

Paul Zuckerman – King George V

David Bernstein – Rev. Bevan

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