Prize winning author and Emmy-Award winner Simon Schama brings to life Jewish history and experience in this new five-part documentary series, The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama, premiering Tuesdays March 25th 8-10 p.m. ET (episodes 1 and 2) and April 1st, 8-11 p.m. ET (episodes 3, 4 and 5) on PBS (check local listings).
The series is, at the same time, a personal journey for Schama, who has been immersed in Jewish history since his postwar childhood; a meditation on its dramatic trajectory; and a macro-history of a people whose mark on the world has been out of all proportion to its modest numbers.
The Story of the Jews draws on primary sources that include the Elephantine papyri, a collection of 5th-century BC manuscripts illuminating the life of a town of Jewish soldiers and their families in ancient Egypt; the astonishing trove of documents — the Cairo Geniza — recording the world of the medieval Jews of the Mediterranean and Near East; the records of disputations between Christians and Jews in Spain; correspondence between the leader of the Arab revolt during World War I, Emir Feisal, and the leader of the Zionist movement, Chaim Weizmann.
The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama is made possible by lead funding from The Paul & Irma Milstein Family. Major funding is generously provided by The Polonsky Foundation. Additional major support is provided by The Pershing Square Foundation, the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust, James and Merryl Tisch, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the David Berg Foundation, Daniel and Joanna S. Rose, and the Lemberg Foundation. Support is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.