Noted historian, author and critic Simon Schama tells the story of the Jewish experience in this series as he travels the globe and explores the Jewish impact on world culture through the ages. The series is both a personal journey for Schama, and a macro history of the numerous ways the culture and beliefs of a relatively small tribe of people have had a profound ripple effect on world events over the past 3,000 years of human history.
In the episode titled “Leap of Faith”, Schama explores the bright, hopeful moment when Enlightenment thinkers and revolutionary armies brought ghetto walls crashing down — allowing Jews to weave their wisdom, creativity and energies into the very fabric of modern life in Europe. One of the most of fruitful branches of this Jewish renaissance was in music, however, the remarkably successful integration of Jewish talent into the mainstream of European culture and commerce stirred up the ghosts of ancient prejudice, decked out in the new clothes of romantic nationalism and the pseudo-science of anti-Semitism.
And then, in the episode titled “Over the Rainbow”, Schama plunges viewers into the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and villages sewn across the hinterlands of Eastern Europe, which became the seedbed of a uniquely Jewish culture. Shtetl culture would make its mark on the modern world, from the revolutionary politics of the Soviet Union to the mass culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood.
Tune in Sunday, June 8 at 5:00 p.m. for a piece of this rich history, and your opportunity to own the entire series.