Menashe Lustig is an American film actor and Yiddish writer who appeared in the 2017 Yiddish-language American drama film, Menashe.
Lustig is currently 43 years old. He was born on March 16, 1978, in the nearly all-Hasidic town of New Square, north of New York City.
Besides this, nothing much is known about his parents, siblings, education, and early life. He spent his formative years in New Square, New York.
Lustig has been a widower since 2008. He spent seven years in England, where his late wife came from, and decided to come back to New Square following the sudden demise of his wife.
The two had a child, a son who is now a teenager. The 43-year-old is an ardent disciple of Rabbi Twersky, the chief rabbi of the Hasidic movement. By order of his rabbi, he and his young son were separated since single-parenting is not allowed in the community.
He is required to remarry to gain custody of his son, who now lives with a foster family. “I can’t marry someone who is too strict. I want to be free more. I believe that I’m not practicing everything. I say to people all the time, they should be like me,” he told Vulture about still being a widow.
Lustig's personal experience of having his young son taken away from him served as an inspiration for the independent filmmaker Joshua Z Weinstein who created a film titled Menashe loosely based on Lustig's trials and tribulation. It starred Menashe in the titular role earning him critical acclaim and audience love.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, was shot over the course of two years in Borough Park, Brooklyn. "When I thought about making a film in Borough Park, in Yiddish, with real Hasidic Jews, to me, it was just as interesting as any documentary I ever made," Weinstein said during the film's Sundance premiere.
Weinstein earned nominations for Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards and the Special Prix du Jury at the Deauville American Film Festival. Menashe was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature in 2018.
Lustig has lived his whole life in an all-Hasidic community of New York’s New Square. At the time of the release of Menashe, he worked at a grocery store.
The 43-year-old spent a decade creating Yiddish-language comic skits on YouTube. He recently published a book, 'My Proverbs,' which as per his Twiter statement, is translated into seven languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, English, Portuguese, French, Russian, German.