Skip To Content
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now
The Schmooze

The ‘Israeli SNL’ Just Took A Stand For Refugees In An Unbelievably Creative Way

“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” the Torah tells us. Even if you are now an actor starring on one of Israel’s most popular and influential television shows, you were once a stranger. That’s just what the team behind “Eretz Nehederet,” Israel’s version of “Saturday Night Live,” reminded their viewers during the show this week.

In the title sequence for “Eretz Nehederet” (it translates to “Wonderful Country”), names of comedians were replaced by the comedians’ relationships to refugees. Where the segment at the opening of a TV show would usually flash performers’ names over their faces, the words instead read, for example, “grandson of a refugee from Lithuania.” He sits near “daughter of a refugee from Romania,” who is sitting near “granddaughter of a refugee from Libya.” The show’s performers are directly descended from refugees from Egypt, Iraq, Russia, Poland, Germany, Morocco, Argentina, Bulgaria. There is also one “refugee from reality.”

Most of the people who provide vital services in our lives — entertainment, friendship, government, education — were once refugees, just like those African migrants who may soon be deported from Israel. And so, “Eretz Nehederet” seeks to remind us, were you.

Watch the clip of the title credits here:

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.