Simon Schama and His Suitcase Jews Dazzle on PBS Broadcast

Historians in the News
tags: PBS, Simon Schama, The Story of the Jews



Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on PBS, Simon Schama opens an enormous door and steps into an ornate 18th-century library aglow with light, marble pillars and glittering ormolu.

The time had come for the Jews to leave the ghetto for the salons of Europe.

A Leap of Faith” is the third segment in the Jewish historian’s “The Story of the Jews,” a co-production with the BBC, which started last week on PBS. (Parts four and five air immediately afterwards and will be available for streaming).

By now, the Jews have hurried with their bundles and suitcases from Jerusalem, Babylon and Cairo to fragrant Andalusia and stinking shtetls.

Trailed by a lavishly financed camera crew, the mesmerizing and kinetic Schama traces this epic journey with his typical flair. Anecdotes abound; compelling personalities step into view.

In dour Lincoln, in the north of England, we meet Aaron, a 12th-century moneylender who financed abbeys and was richer than the king. Jealousy was his thanks though he was allowed to die in bed.




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