William Wolff is nearly 90 and perhaps the most unconventional rabbi in the world.
As the State Rabbi of North-East Germany, he looks after the Jewish Communities in Schwerin and Rostock, but still lives in a bungalow near Henley-on-Thames. Midweek he usually flies from Heathrow to Germany. After the services on Saturdays, he either makes his way home or on a leisure city trip. His annual highlight is betting at the Horse Race of Royal Ascot and joining a fasting-retreat in Bad Pyrmont. Willy Wolff leads a Jet-Set-Life, which he actually cannot afford, but dealing with money isn't one of his strengths. Naturally, that occasionally leads to quite temporal conflicts.
With his free-spirited flair and heart-warming laugh, the State Rabbi for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern won the audience's hearts in Britta Wauer's smash hit In Heaven, Underground (2011), a documentary feature about the Weissensee Jewish cemetery in Berlin. Wauer’s new film shows Willy Wolff’s turbulent daily routine and looks at his eventful past: from fleeing Nazi Germany with his family as a child, to leaving behind his London-based career as a political correspondent, to becoming a most respected rabbi.
Rabbi Wolff is the portrait of a fascinating character, a deeply religious man who, blessed with a tremendous joie de vivre, defies all conventions. More than that, it gives insight into the world of Judaism and introduces us to a uniquely German biography.