Ana Gutierrez
professional wanderer, freelance writer, dog lover.

Salsa Tel Aviv

Play the music while reading, it will make sense a few sentences later.

A few months ago I went to a festival where a few Israeli movies were presented. It’s not surprising to find Jewish references, because they have been filmed in Israel, and the characters are Jewish as well.

The first movie I saw was “Salsa Tel Aviv”, highly recommended if you like music and love. “Like a fish out of water” and “Eli & Ben” were the other two, and I liked them as well.

A few weeks ago I started noticing that many of the Hollywood movies have tons of Jewish references, some are pretty obvious, and others are only slightly noticeable. You see the trailer and you think it’s just another silly comedy, and out of the blue, you see a kipa taking place in a oh-by-the-way-I’m-a-jew character’s head.

“This is where I leave you” (trailer). A movie I do recommend if you feel like laughing and learning a few life lessons. When I saw the trailer I got the idea they were going to mourn his dad, but I definitely was not expecting for them to keep shiva.

I was overcome with the ridiculous amount of shoes Rose had in her closet when a few scenes later the soon-to-be boyfriend of her grandma had a couple of boxers with a Menorah on it. A gift from his son, he said. “On her shoes” (trailer), a great comedy, with the right amount of Jewish references to give you motivation to look for a Jew as a boyfriend. And yeah, Rose gets married with a Jew, definitely unexpected. Really.

In “Lullaby” (trailer) the dad is about to die from terminal cancer, and he asks his son to prepare passover sedar, and I’m quoting here: “I didn’t waste my money on Hebrew school”. And they don’t even wear a kipa, but all of a sudden, they are a Jewish family.

The world wants to boycott Israel and everything related to it, and it’s actually an easy task. You could begin by putting an end to watching the lovely comedies Hollywood sells to us, with all the crazy and unexpected references to Judaism.

I’m aware Israel and Judaism are way more than just those little details in these random movies, but I’m also aware that we have managed to accept them because, deep inside us, we know anything that comes from a Jewish source is good, fun and interesting.

Israel and its traditions are everywhere, not because they impose themselves, but because we have embraced them, and we like them being part of our lives, otherwise, Hollywood would have ran out of comedies to show us.

Now I can’t watch a movie without trying to spot the Jewish references in it, and since the day one I decided I couldn’t do more but to love Israel, I’ve tried to include Judaism in my Christian lifestyle.

I leave you here with the first Israeli movie I ever saw. “Salsa Tel Aviv”. It’s amazing how Spanish and Hebrew can co-exist.

Ps. If you would like to know the percentage of jews in the cast and crew of the movie you just watched, visit:

About the Author
Ana is a curious girl that after exploring Israel and pursuing an MA in TAU during 2017/18, also found her life partner in a museum in Jerusalem. In the middle of a pandemia, and a world crisis, she married her Jerusalemite lion and moved to Israel for good. She writes about her experiences as a wife, as a foreigner in the Holy Land and as a woman exploring life.
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