Salvador Litvak

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Salvador Litvak
Salvador Litvak in Los Angeles in 2017
Other namesAccidental Talmudist
Occupation(s)Director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)Nina Davidovich Litvak (2 children - Molly and Avi Litvak)

Salvador Litvak is a Chilean-American filmmaker and social media influencer.[1] He has written and directed two theatrically-released feature films, When Do We Eat? (2006) and Saving Lincoln (2013).[2] As the Accidental Talmudist, Litvak shares Jewish wisdom with over one million followers on his Facebook page and hosts AT Daily, a Talmud study show on Facebook Live and YouTube.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Litvak was born in Santiago, Chile in 1965 and came to the United States at the age of five. He grew up in Riverdale and New City, New York.[4] He majored in English at Harvard, where he rowed on the heavyweight crew team.[5] He then moved on to NYU Law School, earned his Juris Doctor degree, and passed the New York State Bar Exam.[6]

While attending law school, Litvak mounted a series of multimedia performance art pieces in Greenwich Village.[7] After finishing law school, he took a job as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Skadden Arps while continuing his writing.[4] After two years, he left the practice of law to enroll in the graduate Directors' Program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree.[2]


Litvak formed a production company, Pictures From the Fringe.[8] With his wife Nina Davidovich, Litvak wrote When Do We Eat?, a comedic Passover film about a dysfunctional Jewish family celebrating "the world's fastest seder."[9] Litvak directed the film and partnered with executive producer Horatio Kemeny to make When Do We Eat? independently. The film's ensemble cast includes Lesley Ann Warren, Michael Lerner, Max Greenfield, Shiri Appleby, Ben Feldman and Jack Klugman in his final film role.[2] When Do We Eat? was released theatrically by THINKFilm in 34 cities in 2006.

Litvak followed it up with Saving Lincoln in 2013, based on the true story of Abraham Lincoln and his self-appointed bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon.[10] Saving Lincoln features a visual style invented by Litvak named CineCollage, in which live action elements are inserted into 3D environments composited from vintage photographs.[11] Litvak raised post-production funds on Kickstarter.[12] He contributed an essay to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library's book Gettysburg Replies.[13]

In 2012, Litvak finished reading the entire Talmud after participating in the 7.5 year Daf Yomi cycle.[14] Wanting to share the wisdom he learned, Litvak started a blog[15] and a Facebook page called Accidental Talmudist.[2] Together with his wife Nina, Litvak shares Jewish wisdom, faith, culture, history and music with over a million followers.[2][16][17][18] Litvak also edits the Table For Five column for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles in which in five writers comment on a verse from the weekly Torah portion.[19] In 2019, Litvak partnered with the Jewish Journal to launch The Accidental Talmudist Podcast.[20]


  1. ^ "Salvador Litvak – Jewish Independent". Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gocs, Danny (6 June 2014). "Roller Coaster Ride for Jewish Filmmaker". The Australian Jewish News. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  3. ^ "🛎️ AT Daily!". Accidental Talmudist. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  4. ^ a b AccidentalTalmudist (2016-05-04). "Can You Spot The Latino?". Hevria. Retrieved 2020-07-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Harvard-Yale: The Last Race | Sports | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  6. ^ "An Accidental Journey". Jewish Independent.
  7. ^ "Salvador Litvak and Adam Ferguson from Modern Day Philosophers with Daniel Lobell". Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  9. ^ "A soup of many flavors". Burbank Leader. 2006-04-12. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  10. ^ "Filmmaker blends vintage photos with green screen to make drama". Los Angeles Times. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  11. ^ "In His Own Words: Writer-Director Salvador Litvak Shares a Scene From His Micro-budget CineCollage Film, 'Saving Lincoln'". IndieWire. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  12. ^ "SAVING LINCOLN - film release!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  13. ^ Foundation, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (2015-04-01). Gettysburg Replies: The World Responds to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4930-1766-9.
  14. ^ Gold, Rabbi Yoel (2017-11-01). "The Accidental Talmudist". Ami Magazine. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  15. ^ "Accidental Talmudist". Accidental Talmudist. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  16. ^ Fishman, Yehudis (5 June 2017). "A Remarkable Man Comes to Boulder". Boulder Jewish News. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Accidental Talmudist comes to Downtown Disney to blow his shofar (ram's horn) ahead of Rosh Hashana". Orange County Register. 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  18. ^ "'Positivity Bias' Strikes a Deep Chord With International Audiences - First printing quickly sold out; requests coming in for translations". Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  19. ^ "table for five Archives". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  20. ^ Litvak, Salvador (2019-08-13). "Stephen Tobolowsky: My Adventures with God". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2019-08-21.

External links[edit]