ChaiFlicks Founder Sees Surge in Demand for Israeli Programming (Guest Blog)

Neil Friedman recommends two series on the Jewish streaming service to help viewers learn about the historical roots of the conflict with Palestine

Neil Friedman, ChaiFlicks Founder, documentaries "Anti-Semitism" and "Tangled Roots"
Neil Friedman, ChaiFlicks Founder, documentaries "Anti-Semitism" and "Tangled Roots" (Photos courtesy of Schlosser Communications)

When the Hamas attacks happened on Oct. 7, ChaiFlicks — the leading Jewish streaming service in the world — did not go back to business as usual. We didn’t want to be in promoting and selling mode with a war going on. 

We took a beat in terms of any kind of promotion or direction to subscribers. We waited and didn’t tell our audience what to do or what to watch for a couple of days. And then we noticed that our subscribership — which includes viewers in the US, Canada, UK and Australia — was overwhelmingly looking at Israeli programming.

After pausing all promotion for over a week, ChaiFlicks opted to put an emphasis on Israeli programming, specifically series and films that give further context to the conflict and history in the region. The team started providing curated content options on its home page, highlighting series and films such as “Tangled Roots,” “2000 Years of Antisemitism History” and the debut of “Winter Journey,” a Danish film about an untold Holocaust story that has ties to today.

Without any outward marketing, ChaiFlicks has seen a sizable uptick in both new subscribers and viewership as well. And the streamer is now set to launch its first campaign since the terror attacks with the focus on “Re-connecting to Jewish Culture.”

We’re also reconfiguring our programming plans for the remainder of the year and looking to acquire content that will resonate during this tumultuous time.

I’m recommending these two documentary series, which are exclusive to our platform, because they seem to fit perfectly with the events of the past few weeks:

“Tangled Roots” (2020)

“Tangled Roots” is an Israeli TV series directed by Anat Zeltser and Modi Bar-on. It starts off in the first episode with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 from the British government and covers each decade going forward, up until the Yom Kippur War. It’s a very balanced approach to the conflict. It is an Israeli program, but it’s incredibly nuanced and it doesn’t take a side. It gives information and provides a lot of primary materials. It gives viewers an easy way to digest the issue as it’s transpired over the 20th and 21st centuries. 

“Anti-Semitism: 2000 Years of History” (2021)

“Anti-Semitism: 2000 Years of History” is a 2021 TV series directed by Jonathan Hayoun. This French series documents the rise of antisemitism beyond the recent horrors and incidents. It’s another subject that never goes away. In four episodes, it covers 2000 years of history, as explained by very sophisticated educators and scholars. It’s very much like “Tangled Roots”: It tells you what the issues are and  allows you to realize how nuanced and complex they are.

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