Historian Simon Schama is careful not to call his new PBS series the “definitive” look at Jewish history, but by others’ estimation, it is close.
The Columbia University professor and Anisfield-Wolf juror leads viewers through more than 3,000 years of Jewish history in the five-hour documentary, “The Story of the Jews.” For Schama, who is Jewish, the subject matter is not only personal, but pertinent.
Condensing thousands of years of Jewish history was no easy feat, but Schama went to great lengths to show the beauty and resilience of Jewish culture. “It’s not just a history of death and smoke and disaster,” Schama says.
The documentary is based on Schama’s newly released book of the same name. Volume one, “The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD” hit bookshelves this month and the second volume, covering 1492 to the present, will be released this fall.
Episodes one and two premiere March 25 at 8 p.m., and episodes three through five debut on April 1. Watch the three-minute trailer below and tell us if you’ll be tuning in: