BBC takes to Kibbutz life in program for British Jews

A new documentary produced by the British corporation is shining a light on British Jewry and the Israeli Kibbutz movement.

October 4, 2017 11:02
1 minute read.
Ma’ale Hahamisha

Setting up Kibbutz Ma’ale Hahamisha near Jerusalem in 1938. (photo credit: COURTESY TAMAR ESHEL)


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While Israel's iconic Kibbutz communities from the years of its establishment may slowly be diminishing, Britain's BBC is reportedly bringing them back into the spotlight in a special documentary slated to go on air in 2018, possibly around the time Israel will celebrate its seventieth independence day.

The British media outlet is looking to send a group of British Jews on an expedition to explore their heritage and discuss issues of faith and cultural identity, and a spokesperson for BBC told The Jewish Chronicle that they were developing a show that "aims to explore what it means to be British and Jewish."

Production company Lion TV is handling the application process, and British Jews aged 18 to 70 have been invited to apply through popular groups the community engages in such as Facebook groups 'Restaurant Club' and 'Jewish Britain.'

A message on the former group explained to potential applicants: "You will be taken to Israel to live on a kibbutz for two weeks where you will be filmed for a media project."

The message also explained that the show's producers are "looking for 10 UK Jews with a wide range of Jewish views and experiences who are happy to discuss what being Jewish means to them."

The BBC spokesperson told The Jewish Chronicle that the prospective participants "who will come from a broad cross-section of the population and the faith, will travel to Israel to discover more about their cultural identity and discuss the most significant issues in modern Judaism. We will announce further details in due course."

A different source ascertained that the show's contents are not designated to resemble reality television, but Nicola Levy, a British Jew who spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the documentary underway, expressed her skepticism over this promise.

"I think it is an interesting idea and will hopefully be good publicity for Israeli tourism. However, as is the nature with all reality TV, the people who tend to appear or are given the most air time are the ones who make good television so [they] are quite often outspoken and controversial characters and as such will not depict the average mainstream British Jew."

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