Through its profoundly far-reaching themes, "Kindling the Flame" illuminates the elaborate tensions between the secular and the holy - and the many ways we can embrace them in the context of everyday life. Following the fluid lines of a spiritual journey, the narrative moves forward and backward in time. Israeloff rejects the organized religion of her mother and father, then returns to her faith after starting a family of her own. She honors the memories of her parents and grandparents while celebrating her sons' transition from childhood to young adulthood. She acknowledges the weight and force of tradition even as she recognizes the need to reinterpret and revitalize that which she has inherited and wishes to pass on.
As anyone who has ever pondered questions of the spirit can attest, there are many forms of prayer, many ways of believing. "Kindling the Flame" is a portrait of belief and tradition which suggests that the religion of youth can deepen in adult life, giving people of any faith a most powerful way to express their humanity.