Documentary on One

My Bar Mitzvah in the Holy Land

13 yr old Coby Baker lives in Wicklow - Coby is an Irish Jew - His family have been in Ireland since the 1880's - Now, like his relations before him, it's Coby's turn to go to Jerusalem to make his Bar Mitzvah.

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4.0/5 (76 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Fiona Kelly

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Documentary maker: Ronan Kelly

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My Bar Mitzvah in the Holy Land

13 year old Coby Baker lives in Delgany, Co Wicklow with his mum, Judy Davis, and his younger brother Noah.

Coby is a first year pupil in Newpark Comprehensive, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. He plays electric and acoustic guitar and is a member of his local boy scouts group.

Coby is also Jewish and, in January 2012, he travelled to Jerusalem with his family to make his Bar Mitzvah.

“My Bar Mitzvah in the Holy Land” is a documentary about the lead up to Coby’s coming of age; how Coby was determined to learn enough Hebrew to be able to say his Bar Mitzvah prayer in Jewish; why having his service at the Western Wall means so much to himself and his family; and how important Judaism is to their everyday lives.

The documentary follows Coby on his trip to Jerusalem with members of Judy’s family where he meets up with his father, Richard, who last year moved to Singapore and members of the extended Baker family who live in Israel.

As well as contextualizing what the Bar Mitzvah means to young Jewish men, the documentary explores the relationship between an Irish Jewish family and Israel. Coby’s dad, Richard, and members of Judy’s family served in the Israeli army and we hear them talk about their allegiance to Israel and how they feel about the current conflict and how Israel is perceived by Irish people.

Coby’s maternal grand-mother, Joan Davis, is the widow of the late Gerald Davis, a well-known artist and a prominent member of Dublin’s Jewish community. Gerald's grandparents (Coby's great great grandparents) were Lithuanian Jews and came to Ireland in the 1880s. Gerald died in 2005 but he is remembered by his family on several occasions as his first grand-son makes his Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall.

Narrated by Coby Baker.

Produced by Fiona Kelly.

Production assistance, Ronan Kelly

First broadcast March 24th 2012.

'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story'

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