ALIYAH? THE JOURNEY HOME
BBC1, April 23
WHENEVER THERE is a TV documentary on television about Jewish people, there is always the fear that the way they are portrayed will make the rest of us collectively cringe into our chicken soup. And Aliyah? The Journey Home did have a couple of scenes which made us do just that.
Why did they have to film a prospective emigrant while he and his friends were stuffing their faces with hummus and pitta? Why did they have to film him again, setting tables in a grimlooking synagogue hall using paper plates and paper napkins? And why oh why — in every Jewish-themed BBC documentary — do they always have to use funny camera angles to accentuate our less-than-dainty noses?
But apart from these complaints, the film shed a light on why people leave their comfy lives in Britain for an uncertain, less economically viable and more precarious life in a country which is beset by problems. The feeling of being part of the majority rather than the minority — and the good weather — are two of the reasons.
Modern Orthodox couple Marc and Miriam Kaye, preparing to leave North London for the promised land, are thankfully sensitively portrayed as they discuss their hopes, fears and discomfort about the idea that they will be part of a group of people who are hated by Arabs. Another interesting story is that of Susan Nathan who, after making aliyah to Tel Aviv, decided to relocate to the Arab village of Tamra because she did not want to be part of the “discrimination against Palestinians”.