Falafel and Birthright and Jewish boys, oh my! Welcome to Avi Does the Holy Land, a new web series that satirizes the dominant narrative of many young North American Jews on Israel while exploring Israel in all its stereotypical glory.
The show follows Avi Schwartzberger, a fictional Canadian “Jewess” who fell in love with Israel after visiting on a Birthright trip. Filmed as a vlog (video blog), Avi Does the Holy Land plays on stereotypes to critique the various aspects of diaspora Jewry’s relationship with Israel. This includes Birthright, of course, Avi’s crowning experience and the focus of one episode, “7 Tips to Get Right for Birthright,” in which she dispenses advice to her audience: “Be prepared to find all sorts of Jews in Israel. Black Jews, fireman Jews, taxi-driver Jews, poor Jews, homeless Jews, Jews that use their hands to do other things, other than paying for things.”
Tracy Levy, one of the show’s producers, told us she hopes the show will “inspire debate about the relationship between “diaspora” Jews and the Holy Land, and also, most importantly, make people laugh.” From what I’ve seen of the show so far (and from how much it’s made me both laugh and think) Avi Does the Holy Land is on the right path towards achieving its goals.