Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
Jerusalem- When Israel’s version of the Emmy Awards were announced in late 2009, the mainly secular entertainment establishment received an unexpected jolt as “Srugim,” an off-beat series about the trials and tribulations of religious singles in Jerusalem was tabbed “Best Drama” on Israeli TV.
Ironically, “Srugim” (which means “knitted,” as in knitted or crocheted kippot) did not air on Israel’s three major commercial channels but on the increasingly popular YES satellite network.
To make matters even more interesting, “Srugim” was helmed by a first-time prime-time TV director, Eliezer “Lazy” Shapiro, the religious son of American parents who made aliyah from Philadelphia way back in 1969. Today, Shapiro makes his home in Karnei Shomron.
“Srugim” follows the story of five 30-something singles in Jerusalem, some of whom have been married and divorced, who find themselves increasingly frustrated by the local dating scene as well as the various social and religious boundaries they face as they grow older.
Shapiro discovered that “Srugim” touched a nerve with both religious and secular singles in Israeli society as well.
“A wide spectrum of Israel’s religious society reacted to the first season in an almost obsessive manner,” Shapiro told The Jewish Press.
“Some singles told us we had made a series that literally copied their lives, while more frum people, who aren’t supposed to have a TV to begin with, claimed we depicted things that were a chillul Hashem.
“We aspired to show all the characters with their flaws, because no one can identify with someone who’s perfect. Some of the characters go through religious crises and must deal with the boundaries of halacha. These things are real and happen every day.
“On the other side of the coin, the reaction from secular Jews was equally amazing. Many people told us we had shattered the stereotypes they grew up with about religious singles and discovered a whole new world, where the social mores and codes are different. Which is why some religious viewers told us we had actually created a kiddush Hashem for secular society.”
As the number of viewers grew along with positive reviews from TV critics, the YES programming department realized it had an unusual hit on its hands and immediately asked Shapiro and his production associates to start preparing for a second season. Filming on season two commenced last summer and ended in early September. YES will start airing the new episodes beginning next week.
Shapiro is proud of having broken stereotypes about religious singles in Israeli society while creating a fascinating TV series that has no need for provocative scenes to generate ratings.
“We have been able to create a popular series that still retains a bit of 1950s innocence, which is almost unheard of today,” he said.
“This is not to say we won’t deal with thought-provoking issues during the course of the second season. We will. As in any ongoing series, the characters become more dynamic and complicated. We deal with Jewish identity, relationships, the Ashkenazi-Sephardi cultural and religious mix, etc. I can tell you that by the end of the second season, one of the characters gets married.”
“Srugim” has had an impact on the actors who portray the various characters. Unlike Shapiro, nearly all the cast members are secular. Ohad Knoller, who plays Nati, a handsome doctor who has yet to understand his own emotions when it comes to relationships, said, “Israeli TV has never explored religious singles, which makes this series unique, so I’m actually not surprised it has become successful.
“I am secular, but through the Nati character I have been able to understand religious society.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
I first met Mandela in Geneva in 1990 as part of a delegation of American Jewish leaders.
How much wealth exists in the American Orthodox community?
They didn’t have to ask twice – I was there.
Despite the interim agreement between Iran and several world powers, which provides for a softening of sanctions in return for a curtailment of elements of the Iranian nuclear development program, many members of Congress have resisted calls from the White House to defer legislation that would impose increased sanctions on Iran should a satisfactory final agreement not be reached or the Iranians fail to adhere to the temporary deal.
The Jewish Press raised some eyebrows with its endorsement of Bill de Blasio in the New York City mayoral election. After all, the editorial positions we’ve taken over the years are not particularly compatible with Mr. de Blasio’s liberal track record.
Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.
Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.
Although she survived the attack, she was demonized on Egypt’s talk shows for the violence she endured.
With the conclusion of the Syrian fiasco, the Obama administration had to turn it’s attention to a more imminent threat.
Adebolajo said there was an ongoing “war between Muslims and the British people” and he was a “soldier of Allah.”
The Saudis are signaling that they will unleash a pre-emptive war in the Middle East.
The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.
The topics are “The Reagan Strategy,” and the “Iran Time Bomb.”
The fact that ObamaCare was sold with lies multiplies the political resonance tenfold.
JERUSALEM – As the Iranians move closer to acquiring a nuclear bomb, an unprecedented meeting and a startling admission have buttressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertions that President Obama’s Iran policy is alienating America’s Mideast allies.
JERUSALEM – For the first time since Israel’s founding in 1948, a high-ranking member of the Saudi royal family has publicly acknowledged that a country other than Israel is “the real danger” in the Middle East.
JERUSALEM – The public dispute between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry extends beyond the issue of Iranian nuclear compliance. Sources report that Netanyahu and Kerry have had several heated arguments behind closed doors about the course of America’s Middle East foreign policy as it relates to Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians, Hizbullah, Syria, and Hamas.
I love being in Jerusalem. The first time I visited the Holy City and the Western Wall I was filled with overwhelming joy. God is everywhere, but I feel his presence especially strongly in Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM – Despite prolonged diplomatic efforts by much of the international community to convince Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, a prominent former member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), along with a respected think tank, have confirmed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the U.S., EU and UN: Iran has essentially “passed the point of no return” and is only weeks away from assembling a nuclear weapon.
JERUSALEM – As of Tuesday afternoon, election experts in Israel were tabulating ballots cast by millions of citizens in major municipalities across the country. Orthodox and Anglo voters were expected to play influential roles in the Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh outcomes.
JERUSALEM – As the U.S., EU and UN restart negotiations with Iran to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Israel’s political and military policymakers heightened their rhetoric and increased their military preparedness this week. This strategy is meant to convince the world that Israel is prepared for any eventuality.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/rookie-director-honored-for-religious-themed-israeli-tv-drama/2010/01/06/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: