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TV series is rare Dutch celebration of Jewish culture

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A Dutch Christian broadcaster aired a major television production that examines Judaism’s contributions to Western civilization.

The Dutch-language six-part documentary series, titled You Shall Be Chosen, was produced by the Dutch Evangelist Broadcaster and aired by the NPO, the country’s main broadcaster.

The series is one of the most ambitious on Judaism in the history of Dutch television. The series, whose sixth part was aired this month, features interviews with very well-known interviewees, including the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy; the editor-in-chief of the Forward Jewish paper in New York, Jane Eisner and Hollywood producer Stewart Lane.

Relatively little attention is devoted in the series to anti-Semitism and the Israeli-Arab conflict, its creator, Maurice Swirc said. It focuses instead on Jews’ impact on government, finance, entertainment, journalism and science. Swirc worked on the series for the Jewish department within the Evangelist Broadcaster.

The series received some positive reviews, including by the Dutch Christian Information Centre, a website and advocacy group.

“The contribution of Jews to technology, science, religion, arts, culture, politics, human rights and entertainment is exceptional, considering they make up 0.2 per cent of the world’s population,” the website wrote in a review of the series.