Volume 3, Issue 1 (2015) Israeli Film and Television

In the last decade or so, Jewish religiosity has become a hot and sometimes even sexy subject in Israeli visual arts. Aft er decades—if not almost a whole century—of poor public relations, religious Jews are suddenly crowding the screens of movie theaters, televisions, and computers. Th e last decade has seen them featured in several important films in Israel, and television shows about religious Jews are being produced at an accelerating pace. For anyone even slightly familiar with Israeli history, this is unusual and surprising. Jewish religiosity never enjoyed great cultural popularity in Israel—not during the first fift y years of the Palestinian Yishuv nor through much of the ensuing fift y years of statehood. Yet with the dawn of the twenty-first century, the status of Jewish faith in Israel began to change in increasingly visible ways. Th is special issue of Jewish Film & New Media is dedicated to exploring facets of this phenomenon, and to the remarkable proliferation of visual references to Jewish religiosity in Israel and beyond.