Binge the best new Jewish TV

A remote pointing to a TV that is showing Netflix
Image: Piotr Cichosz, Unsplash.

Diverse Jewish representation has found a home on the small screen thanks to this fresh assortment of television shows, documentaries and miniseries.

The depth and breadth of Jewish characters and storylines on television right now seem endless.

Whether it’s Otto Frank’s heroic secretary Miep Gies or dating guru Aleeza Ben Shalom, the magical Mrs. Maisel or criminal Hasidic Wolfson family – a rich tapestry of Jewish voices and experiences are being played out on our small screens.

In the second installment of our three-part series unpacking the best Jewish media to consume this summer, we break down television: what is out there, how you can stream it and what is worth your time.

Prefer watching movies? Check out the best Jewish films to watch right now.

Watch this for… an inspiring tale

A Small Light brings us the story of a lesser-known but essential character in the well-worn Anne Frank narrative – Miep Gies, Otto Frank’s employee who risked her life to help his family, and other Jewish refugees, to hide from the Nazis. Starring Jewish actors Bel Powley and Liev Schreiber, A Small Light is a biographical miniseries that premiered to widespread critical acclaim.

Where to watch: Disney+

Watch this for… a little bit of (Jewish) love

2023 was a huge year for the Jewish representation on screen, thanks in large part to the highly anticipated series, Jewish Matchmaking, a reality dating show that spotlights the diversity of the community. The show expertly moved beyond stereotypes and negative tropes to showcase complex and multifaceted Jewish identities, with matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom acting as the perfect guide for Jewish singles looking for love.

Where to watch: Netflix

Watch this for… a satisfying goodbye

Created by Jewish TV stalwart Amy Sherman-Palladino, the highly acclaimed The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – which amassed a raft of award nominations and a devoted fanbase – came to an end in 2023.

Jumping back and forth in time, the fifth and final season satisfyingly brings us the fate of all the characters in Maisel’s magical Jewish New York, while keeping the relationship between whip smart comedian Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and her relentless manager Susie (Alex Borstein) at its core.

Where to watch: Prime Video

Watch this for… a haunting drama

Based on Julie Orringer’s novel The Flight Portfolio, miniseries Transatlantic explores the historic Emergency Rescue Committee, which operated in 1940 and supported over 2,000 refugees to flee Nazi-occupied France. A highlight of this masterful and evocative drama is its inclusion of or reference to the well-known artists, musicians and intellectuals who were saved by the committee or interacted with it, including Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Peggy Guggenheim and Marcel Duchamp.

Where to watch: Netflix

Watch this for… the comfort of a home-cooked meal

Julia follows beloved American chef and author Julia Child’s journey to producing her revolutionary cooking show, The French Chef. Like Child herself, this series starring Sarah Lancashire, David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth is warm and inviting, transporting viewers to the fashion, literature and politics of the 1960s.

The just-debuted second season introduces smart and strong Elaine Levitch, a Bostonian Jewish TV director who is played by the equally clever Jewish actress and comedian Rachel Bloom.

Where to watch: Binge

Watch this for… a gripping Nazi documentary

Premiering in Australia in early 2023, The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes exposes – for the first time – long-lost recordings detailing Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann’s active involvement in planning and implementing the Final Solution. The must-watch three-part documentary series is directed by Israeli Yariv Mozer and available to watch in English, Hebrew and German.

Where to watch: SBS On Demand

Watch this for… something left of field

The latest project from Jewish American screenwriting and directing duo Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie has been called many things: “highly uncomfortable”, “uniquely unpleasant”, “magnificently awkward” – which is perhaps why The Curse is quickly generating a cult following.

The inventive drama, which sits somewhere between black comedy, thriller and satire, follows how an alleged curse disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple who are trying to conceive a child while co-starring on a problematic new TV show. Both Fielder and Safdie star in the series alongside Hollywood giant Emma Stone.

Where to watch: Prime Video 

Watch this for… an ultra-Orthodox crime drama

Rough Diamonds is an Israeli-Belgium co-production that sheds light on Antwerp’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and its relationship with the city’s infamous global diamond trade. When the youngest sibling of the Hasidic Wolfson family takes his own life, his estranged brother Noah returns to Antwerp 15 years after he left the community to discover his family’s diamond business under threat.

Co-created by Israelis Rotem Shamir and Yuval Yefet, this crime drama is mostly in a mixture of Flemish and Yiddish and many of the actors actually learned Yiddish to take on their roles.

Where to watch: Netflix

Looking for more?

  • Marvel comic-turned-children’s animated series, Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur (Disney+), features Puerto Rican-Jewish character Casey Goldberg-Calderon who offers delightful and diverse representation of customs and traditions including Shabbat dinners, bat mitzvahs and Yiddish and Hebrew sayings.
  • The city of Jerusalem – and its wondrous sights, smells and tastes – is counted among the main characters of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem (Netflix), an Israeli drama that follows a multi-generational family living through the Ottoman Empire, British Mandate and Israel’s War of Independence, which released its second season in 2023.
  • Shira Haas, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Israeli actor who starred in Unorthodox, joins the cast of Bodies (Netflix), a crime and science fiction limited series that follows four different detective investigations in four different time periods of London that eventually become interlinked.

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