How to watch Israeli shows abroad

Whichever service you choose, you can enjoy the best of recent and classic Israeli and Jewish content, no matter where you live.

 ‘THE NEW BLACK’ (photo credit: ChaiFlicks/Itiel Zion)
‘THE NEW BLACK’
(photo credit: ChaiFlicks/Itiel Zion)

Audiences around the world who have enjoyed Israeli television shows such as Shtisel and Fauda and want to see more Israeli content now have a variety of streaming options.

Some of these feature Jewish as well as Israeli content, including movies and television with English subtitles, while there are others that cater to the Israeli expat market. But the good news is that there are currently more options for those who want to stream Israeli content online than ever. 

One important aspect of all these services is that they are legal and share revenues according to agreements made with creators – in other words, they are not pirates. These new Israeli/Jewish streaming services operate legally and compensate the creators for their work. 

The approximately 1.5 million Israelis living abroad who want to stay connected to television programming and entertainment at home will find Screen iL (https://screenil.com/) an attractive option. Founded in August 2021 by Cinema City CEO Moshe Edery, Ben Berner and Tino Matalon, Screen iL is available throughout the world (outside of Israel), and offers virtually everything available on Israeli television, including the major content providers, such as Keshet and Reshet, and some of the programming from KAN 11.

It features news and entertainment broadcasts, including sports, children’s programming and all the competition shows people love, such as the musical talent shows, cooking programs and Ninja Israel. Subscribers have access to seven previous days of broadcasts.

 ‘CHECKOUT’ (credit: ChaiFlicks/Shani Sadicario) ‘CHECKOUT’ (credit: ChaiFlicks/Shani Sadicario)

The dozens of children’s shows and movies include special holiday programs and language-learning broadcasts, all of which is perfect for those who want to keep their children feeling Israeli while living abroad.

In addition – and for many this will be the highlight of the service – there is a library of Israeli films, a huge catalogue of more than 300 titles. Just about every Israeli classic you can think of is part of the service, going back to the ’60s, as well as more recent hits, with fan favorites such as Zero Motivation, Peeping Toms, The Troupe, Footnote, Forgiveness, The Policeman, Fill the Void, The Band’s Visit, Yossi & Jagger, Turn Left at the End of the World and so many others. Hit movies from just a few months ago are already included, such as Saving Shuli, Full Speed and The Raft.

In a conversation on Thursday morning, Brenner said that in a few months, the movies will have English subtitles. Right now, some already do and the titles and descriptions of the films are available in English. 

The service, which costs $19.99 per month, offers the first week for free. 

“By using our Screen iL, you ensure that the Israelis who create this content will be compensated, not some pirate company,” Edery said when the service launched. “And Israeli creators deserve to be paid for their work.” 

THE FOLLOWING services offer content with English translations for those living abroad who enjoy Israeli and Jewish entertainment.

ChaiFlicks (https://www.chaiflicks.com/) combines Israeli series and drama with Jewish content. It describes itself as having “a mission to support Jewish and Israeli culture and learning” and says that it is the only streaming service for Jewish and Israeli content available in North America, Australia and New Zealand. 

It describes itself as a providing “a curated collection from the best Israeli storytellers and Jewish Diaspora from around the world with four new films launching every week and premieres of exclusive television series every month.”

It offers a seven-day free trial and costs $5.99 a month or $60 a year and features Israeli series and movies and includes more than 500 acclaimed films, adding up to 675 hours of content, with documentaries, shorts and television programs including multiple award-winning and classic films from the library of Menemsha Films, one of the premiere international distributors of Israeli and Jewish movies.

Among these are historical dramas of Jewish life, such as Ferenc Torok’s 1945 and Lola Doillon’s Fanny’s Journey. Chai Flicks is offering a tribute to the movies of Shira Haas, including her debut film, Princess, directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer. Among other Israeli movies they have are the international hits The Matchmaker by Avi Nesher and The Women’s Balcony by Emil Ben-Shimon.

ChaiFlicks also recently acquired a collection of 25 films from Kino Lorber for the platform including such notable titles as Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Beaufort, Ajami and Nowhere in Africa. A selection from the collection will begin to stream on February 15.

On February 17, it will start broadcasting The New Black, the series called Shababnikim in Israel, which has been described as Entourage with black hats and tells the story of four brash Jerusalem yeshiva students. ChaiFlicks recently added Checkout, the popular Israeli comedy set in a failing supermarket, which stars Keren Mor, Noa Koler, Dov Navon and Amir Shurush.

Asylum City is another recent Israeli series on the service, a police thriller set in the world of foreign workers and migrants in Tel Aviv, starring Doron Ben-David of Fauda and Hani Furstenberg, who appeared in Golem and Campfire. 

Srugim, the highly addictive soap opera about a group of young Orthodox Jews in their 20s in Jerusalem, is also available, as well as Significant Other, a series starring Dana Modan and Assi Cohen as lonely neighbors who hesitantly embark on a relationship. It also features international series from outside of Israel, such as Wartime Girls, about three women in Nazi-occupied Poland. 

IZZY (https://www.streamisrael.tv/) is a global streaming platform that offers Israeli movies, shows, and documentaries with English subtitles for $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year, with more than 500 hours of content available. Its promotional material makes the point that, “Over 100 filmmakers in Israel have already enjoyed and received payments from the IZZY licensing model that is based on sharing revenues with the Israeli filmmakers and content owners.” 

Among IZZY’s latest additions is SHORTIME, a collection of short Israeli films, which is a collaboration between the Gesher Film Fund and Green Productions.

One of its new offerings is One on One, a series that stars one of Israel’s rising stars, Tomer Kapon, who appeared in the Israeli series When Heroes Fly and Fauda, and the Amazon show The Boys. 

In One on One, he plays a tutor who goes from house to house, working with students and becoming involved in their complicated lives, all the while nursing a psychic wound of his own. It was created by Matan Yair, a former teacher who has made several movies and series about teachers and students, including the 2017 movie Scaffolding. 

Another series that is new to IZZY is Muna, directed by Ori Sivan, about an Israeli-Arab photographer (Mouna Hawa, who starred in Maysaloun Hamoud’s In Between), with an Israeli boyfriend (Roy Assaf), who gets into a conflict with her traditional father during the Gaza war in 2014.

It is also presenting Srugim. 

Among its latest movie offerings are Freak Out by Boaz Armoni, about zombies that take over an army base. It also offers documentaries and reality shows. 

Jewzy.TV (jewzy.tv), is a US-based streaming platform with the taglines “Love America. Love Jewish. Love Israel” and “From Oy to Joy,” that offers a collection of feature films and documentaries, as well as news from I24.

A free trial is offered the first week and then a month-to-month subscription is $5.99 or $59.99 a year. It features a mixture of Jewish and Israeli content, including such American indie movies as Abe and Phil’s Last Poker Game by Howard L. Weiner, The Yankles by David R. Brooks and Jonathan Kesselman’s The Hebrew Hammer starring Adam Goldberg. Among the Israeli movies are Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s Big Bad Wolves. 

The Israel Film Archive at the Jerusalem Cinematheque (jfc.org.il) has digitized many of the tens of thousands of movies in its collection and made them available online both in Israel and in North America. 

The historical archives are also part of the site, and the section called “The Artistic View” features dozens of classic Israeli movies. Most are available for free although some cost NIS 15 to rent. Among the titles available are Rafi Bukai’s Avanti Popolo and Renen Schorr’s Late Summer Blues. Most of the films do not have English subtitles. 

Whichever service you choose, you can enjoy the best of recent and classic Israeli and Jewish content, no matter where you live.