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The Story of the Jews With Simon Schama Season 1 Episodes

Season 1 Episode Guide

Season 1

5 Episodes 2013 - 2013

Episode 1

In the Beginning

Sun, Sep 1, 2013 57 mins

Historian Simon Schama's five-part history of the Jewish people opens 3000 years ago with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their book, the Hebrew Bible.

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The Story of the Jews With Simon Schama, Season 1 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

Among Believers

Sun, Sep 8, 2013 57 mins

The medieval era, when Jews struggled to preserve their identity—and even their lives—under the rule of Christianity and Islam is recalled. Included: diaspora Jews who built new lives and invented new ways of being Jewish in the face of discrimination, blood-libels and persecution; the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

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Episode 3

A Leap of Faith

Sun, Sep 15, 2013 57 mins

The Enlightenment era, when Jews integrated into mainstream European life, is recalled. One area that proved fruitful: music, as exemplified by the careers of composers Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn. The integration stirred up ancient prejudices, however, which were often cloaked by romantic nationalism and pseudo-science. Included: the trial of Alfred Dreyfus, which led Theodor Herzl to conclude that Jews needed a homeland in order to be free of persecution.

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The Story of the Jews With Simon Schama, Season 1 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

Over the Rainbow

Sun, Sep 22, 2013 57 mins

Recalling the lost world of the shtetl, Jewish towns and villages in Eastern Europe that gave birth to a uniquely Jewish culture; and that made its mark in the revolutionary politics of the USSR and the pop culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. It was also the birthplace of Hasidism, one of the most misunderstood forms of Judaism. Included: Simon Schama visits the forests of Lithuania, where his family logged wood and fought wolves.

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The Story of the Jews With Simon Schama, Season 1 Episode 4 image

Episode 5


Sun, Sep 29, 2013 57 mins

Simon Schama's history of the Jewish people concludes with the Holocaust and the creation of the modern Israel, both of which fundamentally changed what it means to be Jewish. Included: the tension between the ideals and necessities that led to founding the modern Israel; and the realities of conflict, dispossession and occupation that have followed in its wake.

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