5 shows to watch while waiting for ‘Shtisel’ Season 3

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Michael Aloni plays Akiva Shtisel in the Israeli soap opera “Shtisel,” which has been renewed for a third season. Photo provided

When we last saw the haredi Orthodox Shtisel family, the artsy, quiet Akiva was still butting heads with his father, Shulem. Akiva’s sister, Giti, was dealing with her emotions after her husband, Lipa, returned following months abroad with no contact. And Akiva and Libbi’s relationship was on the rocks, due to his art.

If the second season of the Israeli soap opera “Shtisel” didn’t exactly end with a cliffhanger, fans are eager for more anyway.


The characters, who face pressure to marry early, support a large family and deal with pressure to conform to a strict society, made the show a hit on Netflix.

Co-creator Yehonatan Indursky recently announced the show will have a third season, but it is unclear when filming will begin and when the show will begin airing new episodes.

https://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/enewsletter/

So what’s a fan supposed to do in the meantime? Here’s more must see Jewish TV:

1. For the viewer who wants Jewish mythology: ‘Juda’


This show, available on Hulu, follows Juda after he gets bitten by a vampire. The bite gives him supernatural speed and strength, and places him in the middle of a centuries-long conflict between vampires and humans. As the world’s first Jewish vampire, Juda is destined to destroy the rest of vampire-kind. So much for free will.

Juda isn’t religious, but he is taken under the wing of a mysterious rabbi who knows a lot about kabbalah and vampire lore. There are plenty of references to Jewish tradition and mythology. The show revels in its Jewishness and never lets you forget it.

2. For the dysfunctional-family lover: ‘When Do We Eat?’

“When Do We Eat?” an indie movie released in 2005, tells the story of the Stuckmans’ first Passover seder in three years.

Father Ira, who makes Christmas ornaments, spends most of the film drugged by a combination of LSD and ecstasy, seeing the story of the Exodus played out before him. His father, Artur is a
Holocaust survivor, who keeps a suitcase with him at all times in case of a Nazi
resurgence.

Ira’s son Zeke is the cause of his hallucinations. Zeke slips the drugs into his father’s wine for fun. Ira’s other son, Ethan, has become a Chasid. Other quirky guests join the meal, which goes from OK to meshuganeh very quickly. It’s a movie where, despite everything, the family figures out they love each other and becomes closer in the end.

And how many kinda-stoner Passover comedies are there?

3. For the viewer who wants to learn more about the lives of the ultra-observant: ‘One of Us.’

This documentary explores the lives the three ex-members of a Chasidic Brooklyn community and how they adapt to the wider world. The focus is on their reasons for leaving, including domestic and sexual abuse.

The movie won Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary at the Critic’s Choice Awards, and was nominated for Best Film. It can be seen on Netflix.

4. For the romantic: ‘A Touch Away’

This Israeli show, available on Amazon Prime, focuses on the Romeo and Juliet-like tale of the son of a secular Russian family and the daughter of a haredi Orthodox family. Of course, the show handles a lot of the religious themes that “Shtisel” does and how the rules pose a problem for the characters’ romantic lives.

Rochale, the female lead, is heading toward an arranged marriage to a wealthy boy. But when she meets Sasha, the son of the poorer Mintz family, who recently moved to the apartment next to hers, sparks fly.
Unfortunately, the show is a mini-series, so there are only eight episodes.

5. For the binger: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

You can’t have a Jewish television show list without “Mrs. Maisel.” This show by “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has been a hit on Amazon Prime.

It follows 1950s housewife Miriam “Midge” Maisel who, after her husband leaves her,
discovers she has a talent for stand-up comedy. And so she decides to try and make it as a
professional in a highly competitive industry.

There’s a focus on Midge’s struggles as a woman during the 1950s, her struggle for
independence after losing her husband’s support and in the male-dominated world of stand-up comedy.

And of course, there’s romance.

The humor is fast paced and witty. And Judaism is there in Midge’s personality and in her life.
There are only 18 episodes so far, which makes it the perfect weekend binge.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. I have watched Shtisel season 1 and 2 twice and I am waiting for season 3 – I have used the show to help me learn the Hebrew language – I know that the older family members also use German words. I also really enjoy the whole show – and the difference in their culture. I am from the UK.

  2. I just happened upon it three weeks ago after finishing watching Mrs. Mazel.
    What a jem of a show Shtisel is, wonderful acting, characters that are complex and sometimes so frustrating. Giti is a true survivor and a women of such strength and determination. I am so looking forward to season three and onwards. I live in Nashville but am from Yorkshire.

  3. I do so agree with Elizabeth Rogers. “Shtisel” made me want to learn Hebrew. I can understand the Yiddish as I know German. I have just finished watching the last episode of series 2 and am desperate that it has finished For me it is the best TV series since “Brideshead Revisited” in 1981 which I have seen twice ( and read the book ). I so hope that series 3 will be made.

  4. It’s one of the best TV series i have watched till now. At first when i watched the trailer, i was a bit confused as to how it will turn out because i am not really a fan of this kind of genre. But it turned out to be so good that i could not watch anything else until i finished all seasons. RECOMMEND IT TO ALL!!!!

  5. I enjoyed watching Shtisel during the Corona Virus lock down. It brought back many memories of 35 years ago when, as a teenage immigrant from Haiti, I worked for a whole year within the Ultra-Orthodox community in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY; first as a janitor at the Bnos Zion of Bobov school, then as an order picker at Paskez Kosher food warehouse. I was fortunate to work alongside a “cool” , young Orthodox man who gave me an insider view of Orthodox Jewish life from A to Z to me, from match making rules to weddings and family life, holidays meaning, kosher food etc. etc. These were fascinating stories to me and instill in me a deep love and respect for Jewish life and Israel. I became and remain a loyal Friend Of Israel . I also admire the peaceful and simple pace of Shabbat and the various holidays. I believe Shtisel the series needs to be part of schools curriculum to instill understanding and appreciation between different cultures and people.

  6. I just binge watched season 1 and 2 and can’t wait for the next episode. Yes they cause their own problems but having strict parents who don’t respect their children’s wants, needs and dreams is so very compelling. Hurry up season three!

  7. Thanks to the Coronavirus (?), I binged watch this show in a matter of days. The production and acting were first rate, and the characters were all so compelling! Can’t honestly think of a better TV show in recent years! Excited to hear that there will be a season 3 – just hope it will arrive sooner than later…

  8. Due to Covid 19- I have more time to browse on Netflix and watched a few Jewish movies and drama. I enjoyed watching Shtisel, it’s a new culture to me. I can see the struggles of Akita being an artist. I’m wishing him can make his dream come true while watching through every single episode in season 2. In season 1, I was proud of his first love in and thought he’ll end up with her at one point. Overall, I’ve learnt a lot more about the Orthodox Culture. Thanks for the amazing work of these actors & actresses! I’m waiting for season 3 and hope it’ll come out soon!

  9. I don’t remember ever being so taken with a series. It was beautifully acted and directed and it feels like the characters will live in my heart forever. They were incredible. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but quickly that changed and I was mesmerized. Will be so happy if there is a season 3.

  10. As a gentile Christian & a strong supporter of Israel, I also fell in love with the series Shtisel! I agree that it would be a phenomenal program to be watched by students to understand the conservative aspects of Judaism. Brilliantly written! Brilliantly produced & performed! Can’t wait for season 3!

  11. I absolutely agree with all the comments above! A truly beautiful peep into the haradi culture! I lovedvevery character in this gorgeously written series!! Please hurry up with season 3!

  12. SEASON THREE! PLEASE hurry! I’m on pins and needles…..how long before we get more? This show is like eating chocolate for the first time…..All you want is more! Great! Fantastic! I’m not even Jewish but I love this series. pLEASE HURRY

  13. I’m on the second round of watching Shtisel!! I CAN’T let it go! I really wanted Akiva to end up with Elisheva! I really hope there is a Season 3!!

  14. I LOVE this show. I sneak away , in this pandemic, every day to watch an episode. I just think it’s wonderful and enlightening.

  15. I wanted to be the Jewish girl who Akiva wanted to marry! I fell in love with a man who doesn’t really exit! After completing (in quarantine isolation) both series, I am having a hard time breaking up with Akiva. Maybe make season 3 real quick so I can be with him again? Pay them all as much as they want…just get the contracts signed! They are worth it!! And please don’t allow Michael Aloni to date or get married. My heart will break. Ok…he’s not really Akiva, I know. 🤦‍♀️

  16. I can’t say enough good things about this series. It has the propensity to transcend you into the lives of each complex and compelling character. I can’t compare this show to anything I’ve seen before. It’s absolutely brilliant. Hoping for another series to follow. Please!

  17. I’ve just watched Shtisel series 1 and 2. Absolutely loved it. Can’t wait for series 3!!

  18. After the end of series 2 I felt a strange emotion, kind of heimweh!
    I hope 3 will soon be on screen!
    I also watched Unorthodox witch was great!

  19. Love Love Love Season 1 & 2. Please don’t leave us hanging too long for Season 3.
    I am in LOVE with Akiva. I have laughed and I have cried. It doesn’t get any better than Shtisel.

  20. What a great series. I started watching it because I couldn’t find something that kept my interest. It drew me in right away. Actually I watched Unorthodox first and I loved it and then I found this one. I was rooting for Akiva the whole series to stick to his art and get his girl. I loved all the characters. I hope they make Season 3!! It was an education for me because I had always been curious about this group.

  21. I have read all comments, agree 150%. My sister told me about it. I am hooked, like everyone else, and looking forward to season 3. It was good to see a show that wasn’t about sex, or killing you got my drift. I do agree it should be shown in schools, it would teach our children that not everybody is or thinks like they do. To producers, director, and actors Good job.

  22. I can’t get enough of this series. I have 3 more episodes of season 2 that I’m savouring.
    All through the series I kept questions myself as to why there wouldnt be more than 2 seasons. The character development and acting is superb.
    I googled the reason it was cancelled and I then I read there will be a season 3..hooray.
    Akiva aka Michael Aloni is so damn handsome. I’m Christian and I would take him sidekicks and all

  23. I am so upset that I have finished watching seasons 1 & 2 of Shtisel. I didn’t want it to end. Fantastic actor’s & compelling to watch, even though there was no crime or extra marital affairs. Brilliant.
    I hope we don’t have to wait too long for season 3.

  24. Loved Shtisel the characters are amazing. I hope there will be many more seasons I couldn’t stop watching it. Can’t wait for season 3

  25. After visiting Israel, I had to watch every Israeli show on Netflix. Shtisel is still one of my favorites. Yes, the acting is superb. Last fall, I had the privilege of seeing four of these marvelous actors in person in Southfield, MI. They were all articulate and stunning. I can’t wait to see Season 3. Yes, Michael Aloni is gorgeous! Most women would love him and his character, Akita. All lovely.
    The best part of the show is the inside and positive look into the Haredi culture.
    Patty Conlon

  26. I’ve been isolated since end of December and having watched Unorthodox was recommended to watch the enigmatic ‘Shtisel’. Took a few episodes to adjust to what initially, felt a slow development, but by episode 5 was utterly hooked by , yes, beautiful Michael Aloni and charismatic Shulem
    (Doval e, Elisheva (Ayelet Zurer), the amazing Malka Shtisel (Hannah Rieber ) “of blessed memory” and all the other incredible actors. Not forgetting the amazing Shira Haas playing Ruchama Weiss and her amazing fellow actors of Gitti amd Lippi ( Neta Riskin and Zohan Strauss). Perhaps Gitti in her new brief could adopt some of the kindness of her mother and also ask for forgiveness ?
    I have become obsessed with the whole culture of Shtisel. I am living and dreaming it. And to date have now watched the 3 seasons, three times! Even watching Michael Aloni as ‘Himmler’ in that film about young friends searching for a friend in Colombia which was okay, but couldn’t wait to get back to a second viewing of Shtisel (to catch up with facets missed the first time round) but also writing down all the Yiddish dishes described and eaten! Cholent, Bubbaleh! Purim, etc. Also compiling a list of all the terms used…….and considering getting a book on Yiddish language. And also making sense of facets of the plot which is truly incredible. I take my hat off to the writers, innovators and the community where it was filmed. And no, I am not Jewish but have studied Theology and Study of religion at Bristol University which included Holocaust Studies with remarkable Jewish philosophers and poets and writers comprehensively. I would thoroughly recommend going to YouTube and finding the interviews of leading members of the cast by a starstruck US Rabbi, Mark S. Golub who was equally in awe of the whole project of ordinary people in their respective families trials and tribulations……….beautifully portrayed in the writing, acting and expression of lives that are not perfect, but growing together and making decisions that showed frustrations a lot of the time but showed hope in individualistic expression and most of all familial Love. So please, please give us hope of Season 3 proceeding while taking care of all involved to avoid this dreadful Covid 19 affecting you all. Shalom, Shalom, Shalom.

    I totally agree with everything that Jonas Alexandre has said on the 20th April. ” I believe Shtisel the series needs to be part of schools curriculum to instill understanding and appreciation between different cultures and people”.

    And will impress on my grandaughters to watch and Shtisel and learn all they can about the world they live in and learn to love and listen to all who do their best to be fair and struggle with life at this difficult time of Covid19.

  27. Its a beautiful show. It stays with you (in good sense). All characters are complex excellently portrayed by fabulous acting by all . Exceptionally best performance by Akiva. Eagerly waiting for Season 3…we love this show in India

  28. I’ve read all of the above comments and agree with everything said. I’m a Gentile who has long admired and been curious about Orthodox Jewish culture. This is the best, most compelling series I have ever watched. So enjoyed learning about the Haredi culture, customs and language. So great to know that Season 3 is planned. Can’t wait!

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