• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

Books, Films and TV Shows about Israel

Jim Zurer

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Liked The Women's Balcony...nicely done and enjoyed seeing our "friend" Gabi from Fauda playing a very different role.

But I have to say that I thoroughly disliked The Beauty and the Baker....I found the "beauty' to be insufferable and the portrayal of the Sephardic lower class family much too broad. But that's what makes horse races... :)
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Article: The Culture Trip - 9 Israeli TV Programs You Should Stream Now, Feb 2018
https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/9-israeli-tv-programs-you-should-stream-now/

Fauda (Netflix)
In Treatment / BeTipul (HBO)
Prisoners of War / Hatufim (Hulu)
Mossad 101 (Netflix)
Srugim (Amazon Prime)
Mekimi (Amazon Prime)
Shtisel (Amazon Video)
Zero Motivation (BBC America)
Homeland (Showtime)

We started watching Shtisel on Netflix and it is very good. It is a TV series set in the ultra orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem. They don’t explain anything, like that the orthodox women wear wigs when going out instead of headscarves, but just get on with the story. It involves a young man “dating” to find a wife, not so different from Srugim the TV series about religious Jews in Jerusalem.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I had good intentions. I started it for the third time, came across all my previous highlights, got a bit further and gave up again. The writing is brilliant but I find it slow going. I found myself reading newspapers instead of going back to the novel. So I put it aside again.

I started the Amos Oz again, after reading articles about his recent death, and am much happier reading it now. Maybe I am used to his style or maybe the story is more interesting now that we are out of Eastern Europe before WWII.

We watched a good program about him from 10 years ago, in the BBC Imagine series.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We finished watching the 2 seasons of Shtisel, the Israeli TV series set in the Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem. I loved it! The main character, a young man approaching 30 and trying to decide what to do in his life, was captivating. It was all fascinating for me.

And I am almost finished the Amos Oz book. It is beautifully written but what he writes about is hard to read.
 

ItalophileNJ

100+ Posts
I quickly became addicted to “Shtisel” despite an initial reluctance. But then once I got into it, couldn’t stop. Partly I think because these Haredim are nonchassidic — antiChassidic—Lithuanian Jews, from the same region as my grandparents. (Of course except that no one of my socialist forebears was ever ultraOrthodox). But the Yiddish they spoke was like my grandparents, all those familiar vowels. Whoever their dialect coach was did a great job. I missed the characters for a while.
Amos Oz—— glad you finally liked the book a bit better. I’ve enjoyed everything of his that I’ve ever read, but especially this memoir.
His next book, “Judas”, was brilliant but I think of less general appeal.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I couldn’t tell when they switched to Yiddish, but Steve could. His parents spoke Yiddish in front of him and his brother when they didn’t want them to know what they were saying just like in Shtisel. Of course, Steve learned some Yiddish from that. Steve’s parents were born in Toronto but his grandparents were from Poland/Russia/Austria.
 

Jim Zurer

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Glad you liked Shtisel.....we devoured it in record time. Very engaging indeed....although I am sort of sorry that the match between Akiva and Elisheva (Ayelet Zurer--no known relation) didn't work out.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
although I am sort of sorry that the match between Akiva and Elisheva (Ayelet Zurer--no known relation) didn't work out.

I noticed her last name on the credits. I bet if you go back far enough you are related :)

I wanted him to marry the artist in the studio beside him. First because it would have been a good match and second because she (her parents) had a house in Ein Kerem, which is a lovely village attached to the western edge of Jerusalem, with good hiking trails and an interesting history (John the Baptist was born there).

We watched "Fill the Void" on Amazon (not on Prime, we had to pay to rent it) which is about an Ultra Orthodox family in Tel Aviv and it starred the actress from Shtisel, the one who played his cousin who he ended up with.

The actor Michael Aloni who played Akiva, the main character in Shtisel, is also in "When Heroes Fly" on Netflix.

The Times of Israel - TV show ‘Shtisel’ subtly changes ultra-Orthodox perceptions, January 2016
Second season of popular YES series brings a new crop of actors, and fans, to a groundbreaking drama
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
A great article about the Israeli TV show Shtisel (2 seasons on Netflix) in the New York Times:
Netflix’s ‘Shtisel’ Is Binge-Worthy TV on a Strict Form of Judaism

This was a brilliant show about a world I knew nothing about.

We recently watched another Israeli TV series, When Heros Fly, with the main character from Shtisel, Michael Aloni, playing a very different part. This show was nowhere near as good as Shtisel.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
A good article listing Israeli shows:

12 Israeli Shows to Binge Watch Now That You’re Done with ‘Shtisel’
By Lior Zaltzman

The Beauty and The Baker (Amazon Prime) (not on UK Amazon)
False Flag (Hulu)
When Heroes Fly (Netflix)
HaShoter HaTov (Netflix)
Hostages (Netflix)
A Touch Away (Amazon Prime)
Prisoners of War (Hulu)
Srugim (Amazon Prime)
Mossad 101 (Netflix)
Mekimi (Amazon Prime)
Fauda (Netflix)
Juda (Hulu)
 

Jim Zurer

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
>>The Beauty and The Baker (Amazon Prime) (not on UK Amazon) << I really did not like this program.....I found the "heroine" insufferable. And it was too broad for me.....

Anyone else see it?
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We are watching HaShoter HaTov (The Good Cop) while we are traveling in Israel. It is a bit silly but we are enjoying it. It gives a fun look at Israeli life.

We’ve also started Hostages which doesn’t have much to do with Israel other than being set here.
 

ItalophileNJ

100+ Posts
I started watching “When Heroes Fly” but don’t love it so far. Michael Aloni is just a bit annoying, I keep on wanting his character to shape up. Also he and one of the other in the group look so much alike I have a hard time telling them apart. I think I’ve watched two episodes.,
 

ItalophileNJ

100+ Posts
Well I’m coming back to note that it’s Tomer Kapon who plays Aviv. I told you I couldn’t tell them apart. You be the judge.

F83882EF-14B4-4AB0-8CA7-3DA64B2E8D0C.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Pauline

Forums Admin
It’s Michael Aloni in Shtisel.

I agree, When Heroes Fly was not great. Tomer Kapon is also in Hostages which is not great. In the UK, because it is a small country, we see the same actors in many different things. It seems to be like that in Israel too.
 

milgreen2

10+ Posts
" In the UK, because it is a small country, we see the same actors in many different things. It seems to be like that in Israel too. " So true, Pauline! My friend and I are convinced that there are only about 5-8 BBC actors!

I have blown through most of the Israeli films and TV shows that I can access easily. I have a few DVDs on request from the library, but it may take a while for me to get them. So I am definitely on the lookout for new material.

Didn't love the Baker and the Beauty or Hashoter HaTov, so haven't continued with them. Loved the Natalie Portman film adaptation of A Tale of Love and Darkness. I had read the book a long time ago, and the film enhanced my understanding of the book. I love all of Amos Oz's work.

Loved the book We Were the Future, a memoir by Yael Neeman about growing up on a kibbutz in the early days. Very powerful! So fortunate that our synagogue librarian is phenomenal, and it is easy to find contemporary fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, etc.
 

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.

Recommended Travel Guides

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
How to Be an American in Italy by Jessica Scott Romano

Share this page

Top