Where to Binge Jewish/Israeli Content


The Jewzy home screen
If you’re looking to fill the Jewish content void that yawned open after you finished the latest seasons of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Unorthodox” or “Shtisel,” 2020 saw the launch of three new streaming platforms dedicated to Jewish and Israeli movies, TV shows, documentaries and web series.

Not sure which one to start with? Read on.

JEWZY Cinema & TV
A London-based group led by CEO and founder Jeremy Wootliff recently launched the beta version of JEWZY Cinema & TV, a streaming service dedicated to celebrating Jewish American identity.

“JEWZY is the new positive reason be a proud Jewish American,” reads the FAQ section of the website. “Our specialty is HIDDEN GEMS of Jewish American entertainment.”

An annual subscription offers access to 100 titles from around the world, especially the United States, Israel, France and Germany. The JEWZY genres with the most plentiful offerings are comedies and documentaries, and the platform also offers segments of i24 News and the series “Old Jews Telling Jokes.”

The browsing category names are adorable. There’s “From OY to JOY,” for programming that is meant to cheer viewers up, “You Gotta See This!” for classic and critically acclaimed films, and “When Do We Eat?” which features food documentaries like “Make Hummus, Not War.”

The streaming service is still in its beta version, and it retains a certain homespun quality. The user experience copy embraces liberal use of the caps lock and exclamation point keys (the film “Dark Horse” is captioned “VERY FUNNY!! FIVE STAR COMEDY!)

Audiences can sample JEWZY using a seven-day free trial. Afterward, a subscription costs $7.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

After a beta version premiered early in the year, ChaiFlicks launched on Aug. 20 with more than 150 Jewish or Israeli-themed titles.

The platform was co-founded by Bill Weiner, Neil Friedman and Heidi Oshin. Friedman, founder of the Jewish-focused distribution company Menemsha Films, said the idea emerged in response to Netflix focusing more on original programming than on externally produced content.

“ChaiFlicks has been created to preserve our Jewish heritage by presenting the finest Jewish- and Israeli-themed entertainment,” the website reads.

Since ChaiFlicks has been available for a bit longer than JEWZY, it offers a more polished user experience as well as a wider selection. As a platform that mainly focuses on Jewish religious and cultural identity in the diaspora, its main strength is in the diverse scope of its international offerings, with browsing categories allotted to Latin America, Europe, Israel and North America. There is a lot of content dedicated to Jewish history and World War II, plus lighter U.S.-based fare like the Orthodox dating comedy series “Soon By You” and productions by the Los Angeles Jewish theater company The Braid.

After a 14-day free trial, a ChaiFlicks subscription will run $5.99 a month or $18 a year (this is a holiday offer — a typical annual subscription costs $65.99).

Whereas JEWZY and ChaiFlicks place a special emphasis on Jewish religion, history and culture, the content available on IZZY focuses mainly on secular Israeli life.

The platform, which was founded by Josh Hoffman and launched on May 21, features more than 100 titles and updates its offerings weekly. In addition to externally produced dramas like “Magic Men” and comedies like “10% My Child,” IZZY hosts exclusive offerings like the three-part docuseries “Under the Iron Dome” and “Rescue Bus 300.”

The content goes beyond documentaries about hummus and religious pilgrimages to portray a vibrant, diverse and modern Israel. There’s plenty of food and military-themed footage to be found, but there’s also “The Stand-Up Comedians,” a special that focuses on the difficulty women comics encounter while forging careers in a male-dominated industry, “Transkids,” a documentary series about the transgender community in Israel, and “Where Do You Live?” a comedy series about a young man pulled between his dreams to become an actor and the wishes of his traditional Bukharan Uzbek Jewish family.

IZZY subscriptions cost $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. The platform does not offer a free trial period, but you can watch selected films and episodes for free before you subscribe.

spanzer@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0729


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