National Geographic Meets Sha-bat

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Only seven more floors to go in the Shabbat elevator, as seen on the Beit Hillel promotional video. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

Only seven more floors to go in the Shabbat elevator, as seen on the Beit Hillel promotional video. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

All Israeli Jews are members of the same tribe, but it’s a known fact that they like to move around in two different packs: religious and secular.

This reality is made very clear in a promotional video from Beit Hillel for its new “Israeli Shabbat” initiative. Beit Hillel is a national-religious organization founded in 2012 to counter religious extremism and bridge the secular-religious divide. The video is a parody of a classic National Geographic film in which an anthropologist provides voiceover commentary for film footage of the “natives” observed in their natural setting.

“The clip is a fun, amusing way for us to publicize our upcoming ‘Israeli Shabbat,’” said Beit Hillel spokesman Meir Sterman about the organization’s idea to bring secular and religious Jewish families together for a Shabbat dinner.

Sterman told The Times of Israel that several thousand families have already signed up to host or be hosted on October 25.

“We’re still working on placing the 250 people who called in yesterday,” he shared. Registration continues through next week.

Click here to read more and watch the video.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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