Eleven-year-old Michael (Peter Tambakis) is a fatherless Irish Catholic living in Brooklyn with his mother (Lolita Davidovich) in 1947. On an unfortunate day, he witnesses the beating of a Jewish candy storeowner by Frankie McCarthy (Adam MacDonald), leader of a gang of anti-Semitic toughs. Even though the victim falls into a coma, Michael is afraid to rat on Frankie.

As this weighs on his conscience, he meets Rabbi Judah Hirsch (Stephen Rea), a lonely refugee from Prague who hires him to become a "shabbos goy" — turning on the lights and gas stove in his room during the Sabbath. They become friends with Michael teaching him English and baseball while the good rabbi helps him learn Yiddish and the Kabbalah.

Richard Friedenberg directs this enchanting drama based on a novel by Pete Hamill. One of the many interesting developments in the unfolding relationship between Michael and Rabbi Hirsch is their avid interest in the career of Jackie Robinson, the outsider struggling to break the color barrier in major league baseball as he faces the racism of his opponents and teammates. Sadly, the same hatred that took away his wife in Nazi Europe eventually overtakes Rabbi Hirsch and even touches Michael's mother.

The finale of magical realism has this angry and courageous eleven-year-old calling forth a golem, a powerful creature made from mud by someone pure of heart who knows the secret name of God. Those familiar with the fictional works of Isaac Bashevis Singer will recognize this monster and his role in Jewish folklore. Snow in August not only celebrates the virtues of friendship but also lionizes the spiritual worth of learning.