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The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama Previous Broadcasts

Return (Episode #105)

KQED World: Sun, Jan 11, 2015 -- 10:00 PM

Simon Schama examines how the Holocaust and the creation of Israel have fundamentally changed what it means to be Jewish. Mixing personal recollection with epic history, Schama tells the story of the remarkable personalities and unprecedented events that turned the Zionist dream of creating a modern state of Israel into reality - and the consequences for the world. With contributions from writer David Grossman, photographer Micha Bar-Am, kibbutz founder Freddie Kahan, West Bank settler Zvi Cooper and Palestinian villager Yacoub Odeh, the film explores the tension between the high ideals and dire necessities that led to the creation of a Jewish homeland and the realities of conflict, dispossession and occupation that have followed in its wake.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 -- 12:00 PM
  • KQED World: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 -- 6:00 AM

Over The Rainbow (Episode #104)

KQED World: Sun, Jan 4, 2015 -- 10:00 PM

Simon 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. It was also the birthplaces of Hasidism, the most visible, iconic and, arguably, most misunderstood expression of Jewish faith and fervor. This episode travels from the forests of Lithuania, where Schama's own family logged wood and fought wolves, to the boulevards of Odessa, where shtetl kids argued the merits of revolutionary socialism over Zionism. From the Ukrainian city of Uman, where today thousands of the Hasidim chant and sing over the tomb of the wonder-working Rabbi Nachman, to the streets of Manhattan's lower east side, where the sons of shtetl immigrants wrote the American songbook. The program returns, with grim inevitability, to Eastern Europe in 1940, where the genocidal mechanisms of the "final solution" were beginning to grind the shtetl world into dust and ash.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Mon, Jan 5, 2015 -- 12:00 PM
  • KQED World: Mon, Jan 5, 2015 -- 6:00 AM
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