ALIYAH? THE JOUR­NEY HOME

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

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”.

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