The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama, Parts 1 & 2

The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama, Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Noted historian, author and critic Simon Schama explores the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day in this new five-part series.

In the series' first episode, "The Beginning," airing Tuesday, March 25 from 8:00-9:00 p.m., Schama explores how the Jewish experience begins 3,000 years ago with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their extraordinary book, the Hebrew Bible. It was loyalty to the “God of Words” that defined the distinct identity of the ancient Jews and preserved it despite all that history could throw their way — war, invasion, deportation, enslavement, exile and assimilation.

Simon Schama’s epic series continues at 9:00 p.m. with "Among Believers," the story of medieval Jews struggling to preserve their identity — and sometimes their lives — under the rule of Christianity and Islam. Diaspora Jews built new lives and invented new ways of being Jewish in exile in the face of discrimination, blood-libels and persecution interspersed with periods of tolerance, protection and peaceful co-existence.

Parts 3, 4 and 5 of "The Story of the Jews" airs Tuesday, April 1 from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Photo: Simon Schama at Iraq-el Amir, Jordan.