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TV’s Ramy Youssef opens up about filming in Israel, writing Jewish characters

Ramy (Ramy Youssef), left, and Yuval (Julian Sergi) travel to Israel together for a business opportunity in season three of the Hulu “Ramy.” (Courtesy of Jon Pack/Hulu via JTA) This contains details from the third season of Hulu's “Ramy.” JTA — Ramy Youssef expected some glitches during the production of the third season of “Ramy,” his award-winning show about a Muslim-American millennial that has, perhaps unexpectedly, resonated with many American Jews. What he didn't expect was that the challenges would include an international incident — the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank, while “Ramy” was filming in Israel. In the show, Ramy heads to Israel with a business associate, an Orthodox Jew, to make a deal in the diamond trade; there, he visits the West Bank and encounters both brutality and banality. Some of the show's local crew had worked with Abu Akleh in the past, and Youssef and his castmates, including several American and Israeli Jews, joined the throngs of people who crowded near a Jerusalem church for her funeral. They also scrapped their plans to film inside the West Bank, tensions were simmering. “That affected our whole shooting plan,” Youssef told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about Abu Akleh's death. “We ended up staying on the Jerusalem/Haifa side, and really had to push more into Haifa because of that.” TV shows about American Jews have featured trips to Israel before, including Amazon's “Transparent” and an […]

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