Binge Watch Israel: Cultural Diversity


There is no such thing as a typical Israeli! There might be typical Israeli food, typical Israeli behavior, or typical Israeli names, but Israelis are a diverse group of people with differences based on ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, religion, national affiliation, sexual orientation, and even language, to name a few. This diverse society includes Mizrachis and Ashkenazis, Russians and Ethiopians, secular and religious, rich and poor, Arabs and Jews, people of all gender identities, and many more.

A successful, diverse community relies on individuals of different backgrounds and sets of beliefs to embrace the differences and to bring their different heritage, knowledge, experience, and interest for the benefit of their entire community. Is this happening in Israel? In some respects it does, but there is still a lot to be done in order to bridge the differences and to accept the diversity as a benefit to society. The different series below touch upon diversity in a light and humorous way, but are nevertheless enlightening

The Five Houses of Leah Goldberg | לאה גולדברג בחמישה בתים

Leah Goldberg B’chamishah Batim

Goldberg was a magnetic, enigmatic figure whose works resonate in Israeli culture, and are popular now more than ever. Using creative methods, like animation, archival material, photos, original music, and interviews, the documentary film tells her biography, highlights her greatest works, and shares some of her impacts on Israeli poetry today.

The Five Houses of Leah Goldberg is part of Ha’ivrim (“The Hebrews”), an ambitious 16-part documentary project highlighting the lives and works of some of Israel’s more renowned poets and authors.

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem tells the story of the Armoza family, intertwined with the history of Palestine during Ottoman rule and then under the British Mandate of Palestine. It also explores the family’s fortunes during the subsequent periods of depression and war.

The Baker and the Beauty is an Israeli romantic comedy that follows the impossible love story between a baker from a humble Yemenite-Sephardic family and an internationally known blonde Ashkenazi superstar, daughter of a millionaire businessman.

The series, whose title in colloquial Hebrew carries the racist/discriminatory implication of “shoddy or second-rate work,” focuses on the family and work situations of Amjad, an Arab-Israeli journalist. Much of the comedy is derived from the paradox of Amjad’s love-hate relationship with his Arab identity and his simultaneous wish to integrate comfortably into Israeli mainstream society.