Shtisel Uncovered: The New Haredim - New Israel Fund Australia

Shtisel Uncovered: The New Haredim

Neta Riskin: award winning Israeli actress

Neta Riskin is a highly acclaimed Israeli actress who has starred in a wide array of movies and TV shows both in Israel and Europe.
She is considered one of Israel's top actresses, one that cannot be pigeonholed to a certain typecast but rather a chameleon of a sort who can adapt to a vast range of characters and leave her unique fingerprint on each one of them.
She has worked with some of Israel's best-known directors, starred in the critically acclaimed TV-show "Shtisel" about the ultra-orthodox community in Jerusalem, for which she recently won the best actress award. She also played side by side with Natalie Portman in her debut movie as director, "A Tale of Love and Darkness".


Photo credit: Iddo Lavie  

Yehonatan Indursky: screenwriter and co-creator of Shtisel

An award-winning writer and director, Yehonatan Indursky is a graduate of the elite ultra-Orthodox Ponevezh Yeshiva, and later a top alum of the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School. He wrote and created, with Ori Elon, the esteemed drama series Shtisel, which won 17 Israeli Academy of Television awards. The series is currently an international hit on Netflix and has just begun filming its third season. His full-length documentary “Ponevezh Time,” was nominated for Best Documentary Film at the Israeli Academy Awards. “Driver” (2018), his first full-length film, won the Israeli Critics Award. Indursky wrote and directed the series Autonomies, which received rave reviews and won Reflet d’Or for “Best International Television Series” in Geneva International Film Festival. Autonomies imagines an ultra-Orthodox autonomy in Jerusalem that is surrounded by a wall, and operates strictly in accordance with Halachic laws. Indursky’s short film, “The cantor and the Sea,” won the best director prize in Jerusalem Film Festival 2015.



Pnina Pfeuffer: prominent haredi social activist

A self-described feminist, Pfeuffer has been active in various initiatives in recent years which foster Jewish-Arab shared society in Israel.

A Jerusalemite and mother of two, for several years Pnina has been active in both municipal and national politics and initiatives. Growing up in an Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem, from a young age she felt a deep curiosity about different cultures and communities. Pnina’s life changed dramatically after her divorce, when she opted to move to the mixed neighborhood of Nachlaot and began her involvement in the Labor party. 

Pnina is the founding member of the Ultra-Orthodox chapter of the Labor party in the Jerusalem area. Believing that the Arab community of Jerusalem was key to the well-being of the city, she sought to encourage coexistence and policy change. She brought Ultra-Orthodox journalists to visit East Jerusalem, causing the community media to disparage her efforts. 

Undeterred, Pnina founded the Ultra-Orthodox page of 0202 Points of View of Jerusalem and joined the mixed Jewish Palestinian board. Committed to advancing the cause of Ultra-Orthodox women, she lobbies at the Knesset on their behalf and carries out numerous training and development projects to develop female leadership within the community. Pnina also founded a Beit Midrash serving Ultra-Orthodox women, a groundbreaking effort. 

She ran for city council after serving on the board of Yerushalmim for two years, and won second place in the primaries. Although not elected, Pnina is still determined to find a way to remain active in city politics. She holds a BA in liberal arts and an MSc in organisational behavior.


Libby Lenkinski 

Libby is the vice president for public engagement at the New Israel Fund, where she leads all aspects of NIF’s public efforts in the United States – including communications, digital, programs, events, leadership, community partnerships and engagement, New Generations and our fellowships. 

Prior to joining NIF, Libby lived and worked in the Israeli non-profit field for almost a decade. There she worked as director of international relations at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and as a strategy consultant for human rights organisations like Yesh Din and Physicians for Human Rights, for documentary films including Budrus and The Law in These Parts, new media initiatives like +972 Magazine, and for progressive campaigns. 

She is a founding member of Zazim-Community Action and The Whistle. Currently, Libby serves on the board of Comet-ME, Hashomer Hatzair North America and is a NY co-chair for the Reboot Network. Libby is based in Brooklyn and travels to Israel-Palestine frequently



Photo credit for main image: Ohad Romano.