The Story Of The Jews

Watch The Story Of The Jews

  • TV-PG
  • 2014
  • 1 Season
  • 7.3  (299)

The Story of the Jews is a documentary series hosted and presented by acclaimed writer and historian Simon Schama. The series aired on PBS in 2013, and explores the rich and complex history of the Jewish people from their nomadic origins in the Middle East to their present-day diaspora.

Through five hour-long episodes, Schama takes viewers on a journey through Jewish history, examining the political, cultural, and religious forces that have shaped the development of Jewish identity and the Jewish experience. The series is based on Schama's book of the same name, and features a range of historical sources, including archaeological finds, artwork, and written documents, as well as interviews with scholars and members of the Jewish community.

The first episode, "In The Beginning", explores the early origins of Jewish history and identity, from Abraham's journey to Canaan to the Israelites' enslavement in Egypt and their exodus to the Promised Land. Schama looks at the ways in which the biblical narrative has shaped Jewish mythology and identity, and how this sense of nationhood has been challenged and re-defined through centuries of diaspora.

The second episode, "Among Believers", examines the ways in which Jewish culture and identity developed in the ancient world, from the Hellenistic era to the Roman Empire. Schama looks at the impact of Greek philosophy on Jewish thought, and how the Jewish community responded to the changing political and religious landscape of the Mediterranean.

The third episode, "A Leap of Faith", traces the evolution of Jewish religious practice and belief, from the development of the Talmudic texts to the emergence of the Kabbalah. Schama examines the complex relationship between Jews and Christianity, as well as the challenges posed by the rise of Islam.

The fourth episode, "Over The Rainbow", explores the ways in which Jewish culture and identity evolved in Europe, from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. Schama looks at the role of Ashkenazi Jews in the cultural and economic life of Europe, and the ways in which they adapted to changing political and social realities. He also examines the emergence of Hasidism and other forms of Jewish mysticism, and the influence of Jewish writers and thinkers on European literature and philosophy.

The final episode, "Return", looks at the experiences of Jewish people in the modern era, from the Zionist movement to the Holocaust to the re-establishment of Israel as a nation-state. Schama examines the impact of anti-Semitism on Jewish life, as well as the diverse ways in which Jewish culture has responded to the challenges of the modern world.

Throughout the series, Schama brings his characteristic wit and erudition to bear on the subject of Jewish history. He avoids simplistic narratives and explores the complexities of Jewish identity and experience, both past and present. The series is a compelling and illuminating exploration of one of the world's richest and most fascinating cultures, and provides a valuable introduction to the history of the Jewish people for viewers of all backgrounds.

The Story Of The Jews is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (5 episodes). The series first aired on March 25, 2014.

The Story Of The Jews
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5. Return
April 1, 2014
Exploring how the Holocaust and the creation of Israel have changed what it means to be Jewish in modern times.
Over the Rainbow
4. Over the Rainbow
April 1, 2014
Exploring the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and villages dotted across the hinterlands of Eastern Europe, which became a unique Jewish culture.
A Leap of Faith
3. A Leap of Faith
April 1, 2014
Simon examines a special moment where Enlightenment thinkers and Revolutionary armies brought walls down allowing Jews to weave their wisdom into life of modern Europe.
Among Believers
2. Among Believers
March 25, 2014
The epic series continues with the story of medieval Jews struggling to save not only their identity, but sometimes their lives, in a world dominated by Christianity and Islam.
In the Beginning
1. In the Beginning
March 25, 2014
Simon looks back 3,000 years to the tribal group of people and their book, the Hebrew Bible, a chronicle of their stormy relationship with a faceless, jealous, formless God. The identity of the ancient Jews has been defined by their loyalty to this "God of Words".
Where to Watch The Story Of The Jews
The Story Of The Jews is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Story Of The Jews on demand at Apple TV Channels, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 25, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (299)