By Ronen Zvulun
As a native of Jerusalem, an Orthodox Jews’ appearance is not alien to me. The thought which often comes to mind when thinking about the ultra-Orthodox community is “so close yet so far”.
How does my life as a secular person differ from the life of a Haredi man (Hebrew for “those who tremble (before God)?
How different are the lives of my daughters from that of a child growing up in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood: the education, the atmosphere at home, the games, the books, the Western-based culture in which my family lives versus the sheltered lives of the Haredim. Nonetheless, despite all these differences, I find the common ground between us and am mostly welcomed when I cover their reality.
I photographed the Kreus family preparing for the Sabbath on a Friday evening. As a father of two, I was amazed to see how a family of 14 works in harmony like a well-oiled machine. One child peels potatoes while the eldest dresses her siblings as others go to help relatives nearby.
Their house is small, including a simple kitchen, two bedrooms and a front courtyard yet nothing feels missing. I can’t help feeling as if I went back in time while photographing the family.