A shy and introspective man, Akiva is the youngest of the Shtisel family. He lives at home with his father Shulem, a rabbi at the local yeshiva in Jerusalem where Akiva takes a substitute teaching job. His father is anxious for him to marry (a nice Jewish girl, of course), but still mourning the passing of his mother, the socially awkward Akiva is hesitant. That is, until he meets the enigmatic Elisheva, the twice-widowed mother of one of his students. And that’s the point of departure for the popular Israeli TV drama Shtisel, the story of the multigenerational Shtisel family as they deal with universal problems of love, loss and relationships. What makes them different is that the Shtisels happen to be haredim, ultra-religious Jews. SFJFF presents the first three episodes of this award-winning series that has hooked viewers—religious and secular alike—worldwide with its stylish production values, great acting (it stars Michael Aloni, Out in the Dark, SFJFF 2013) and well-crafted scripts. Shot on location in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood, Shtisel is a faithful portrayal of haredi life, offering a fascinating glimpse into a tight-knit religious community, with compelling characters and story lines recounted with such heartfelt emotion and humor that you will want to see every episode.