The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama: PBS Premiers New Series

On March 25 Public Television Stations premiered in the United States a five-part series called The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama. The first two parts of the series, which ran on March 25, are called “The Beginning” and “Among the Believers.” The last three episodes, which will run on April 1, are “A Leap of Faith,” “Over the Rainbow,” and “Return.” Wilmette Institute learners in Britain may have seen the program on the BBC in September 2013. Reviewer Andrew Anthony, writing in The Observer on September 28, 2013, called The Story of the Jews “an astonishing achievement, a TV landmark.”

Ventana, the New Mexico PBS Monthly Viewer Guide, describes The Story of the Jews this way: “Noted historian, author and critic Simon Schama explores the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day in this new five-hour series. The series travels from Russia and the Ukraine to Egypt, Israel and Spain, exploring the imprint that Jewish culture has made on the world and the drama of suffering, resilience and rebirth that has gone with it.”

The program will be of interest to all Wilmette Institute students, particularly those interested in the history of religions and those who have taken the Wilmette Institute course Judaism for Dialogue and Deepening.

Schama, whose mother came from an Ashkenazi Jewish family and whose father was of Sephardi Jewish background, is Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University in New York City. He has written many books and articles. His television programs include A History of Britain, produced for British millennium celebrations; Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution; and The American Future: A History.