The Story of the Jews
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Simon Schama looks at the impact of the Jews and those moments when the Jewish experience - what Jews have thought and written, uttered, mourned and acclaimed - has changed the fate of the world. Drawing on his scholarship, his original viewpoints, and his own family history, Schama presents a series about the Jewish story that is at once deeply historical and bracingly contemporary. Travelling the globe from New York to Odessa, Berlin to Jerusalem, he tells ancient and modern stories that illuminate the passions and perplexities of the Jewish people today. Sure to capture a wide and appreciative audience, The Story of the Jews rests at heart on the difference between distinctiveness and isolation. Since the creation of the Bible, the Jewish world has been distinct, but never truly isolated. The Jewish story needs to be told afresh because it is a story of our deep human connectedness.
|1||VideoIn the Beginning||Simon Schama explores how a distinct Jewish identity began to emerge more than 3,000 years ago. Drawing on a rich store of archaeological and historical sources, and accompanied by vivid location photography in Israel, Egypt and Jordan, Simon Schama traces the slow crystallisation of a people whose radical notion of a singular, faceless formless God found unforgettable expression in an equally radical artefact: the Hebrew Bible.||58:48||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|2||VideoAmong Believers||Simon Schama explores the tale of Jewish survival in the medieval world. Drawing on a rich store of primary historical sources, artifacts, and stunning locations in Galilee, Italy, Egypt, England and Spain, Simon Schama traces the history of the Jews from the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD to the ghetto in 17th century Venice, exploring how the Jews adapted to life outside of Jerusalem, the city at the heart of their religion, and went on to create a Jewish life in a world dominated by two rival monotheisms – Christianity and Islam.||59:10||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|3||VideoA Leap of Faith||In episode 3, Simon Schama charts the huge leap of faith taken by the Jews of Northern Europe. After centuries of being cast out of gentile society, the dawn of the Enlightenment promised the Jews a stake in the nations where they had long been kept separate, sustained by self-sufficient traditions, and their own language. But from the late eighteenth century, many Jews left their ghettos and joined the common society of the gentiles. Their hope was to become fellow citizens, and to finally be treated as equals.||58:59||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|4||VideoOver the Rainbow||Simon Schama explores the rich history of the Jews of Eastern Europe. Drawing on richly evocative archival footage and photographs, and accompanied by vivid location photography in Slovakia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine and America, Simon Schama conjures up the unique culture of faith and ferment, poetry and music that was inspired by the struggle against oppression in the Russian Pale of Settlement, and how that rich culture found a new home with the mass Jewish emigration to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.||59:05||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|5||VideoReturn||Simon Schama explores how two recent historical events, the Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel, changed in profound ways what being Jewish means. Mixing personal biography with vivid historical narrative, and with contributions from a diverse group of contributors, Simon attempts to place these two events without precedent in the broader sweep of the story of the Jews which began, 3,000 years ago, in a place the Hebrew Bible calls the ‘Promised Land’ and which continues today in the Land of Israel, where around half the Jews of the world now live.||59:16||£1.89||View in iTunes|
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This an exciting, engaging, informative and balanced account of the story of the Jews. It helps to dispel myths and broaden viewers' understanding of the Jewish people. It provides nuance to the debate around Zionism and Israel. Important to watch.