Eytan Fox’s 'Rabbi' will be first TV project for Tadmor Entertainment

Rabbi will be about a charismatic and influential Orthodox rabbi whose world collapsed when he was accused by teenage male students of sexual advances.

Lior Ashkenazi in 'Footnote.' (photo credit: RAN MENDELSON)
Lior Ashkenazi in 'Footnote.'
(photo credit: RAN MENDELSON)
Tadmor Entertainment, which announced in June that it was partnering with the US entertainment studio, MGM, to develop Israeli television content, revealed last week that its first television project will be Rabbi, a series by Eytan Fox inspired by the true events of the Moti Elon sex scandal.
“Since the virus crisis started, I’ve been getting calls from friends of mine in the American TV industry who’ve been telling me how much they’ve enjoyed Shtisel and Unorthodox and how they’ve become fascinated with the whole ultra-Orthodox world,” said Fox. “And in the last year or so, the whole #MeToo movement has become so important to the world and to me personally. These two trends motivated me to go back to a project I’ve been researching and developing for quite a while about Rabbi Elon, which blends #MeToo and the Orthodox world.”
Rabbi will be about a character based on Elon, a charismatic and influential Orthodox rabbi whose world collapsed when he was accused by teenage male students of sexual advances. The series will be told from the points of view of several people involved in the Elon story, including the rabbi’s victims, his family and the rabbi himself. It will include a storyline about Elon’s hearing at the Forum Takana, an informal but widely influential religious court set up by the Orthodox to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Lior Ashkenazi, one of Israel’s top actors, will play the lead in the series. Ashkenazi has starred in some of the most celebrated Israeli films such as Foxtrot, Footnote and Big Bad Wolves. He also appeared in the Keshet/HBO series, Our Boys.
Fox is one of Israel’s leading directors. His most recent film, Sublet, starring John Benjamin Hickey as a travel writer who visits Israel and whose life is changed by a young man he meets in Tel Aviv, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
It was recently acquired for distribution in the US by Greenwich Entertainment. He has directed many acclaimed, award-winning films, including Yossi & Jagger, The Bubble and Yossi. His series, Florentine, about young people living a bohemian lifestyle in Tel Aviv, is considered a ground-breaking show in Israeli television history.
Fox and Ashkenazi previously worked together on the film Walk on Water, which was the most successful Israeli film in the US.
Tadmor Entertainment was founded by Gideon Tadmor, a businessman engaged in oil and gas exploration and development, and has produced such films as Joseph Cedar’s Norman and Udi Aloni’s Junction 48. Tadmor Entertainment is headed by CEO Emilio Schenker.
Fox said, “It’s wonderful to be working with Emilio and the rest of the Tadmor staff to bring this challenging and controversial story to life.”
Rabbi will be co-produced by Gal Uchovsky of Mazeh Productions and Micky Rabinovitz of LightStream.