Israel’s Keshet TV is releasing a new drama series, “Kipat Barzel”, about three ultra-Orthodox young men who have chosen to serve in the IDF — despite the communal taboos associated with it.
The series title literally means ‘Iron Dome’, as in Israel’s anti-missile defense system, but which can also translate to ‘Iron Yarmulke’.
Starring actors Roy Nik, Dolev Mesika, and Dani Shtag, the show tells the story of those who don the uniform alongside their tzitzis and velvet yarmulkes — and about the way their families react when they return home. The soldiers have to both deal with a secular army that is still learning to adjust to the needs of religious recruits, while also coping with hostile reactions from their communities.
Watch the full (Hebrew) trailer here:
The choice to produce a series about Haredi soldiers may be reflective of just how common a phenomenon it is becoming in the Israeli street. Interestingly, the show also depicts the diversity of ultra-Orthodoxy’s many sects — with the protagonists hailing from three distinct communities — a subtlety rarely portrayed on the Israeli screen.
The show is set to premiere on November 1. We’ll be marking our calendars.
Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt is the Life/Features editor at the Forward. She was previously a New York-based reporter for Haaretz. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and Tablet, among others. Avital teaches journalism at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, and does pastoral work alongside her husband Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt in New York City.