There Are No Lions in Tel Aviv


In Partnership with
Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

Sunday, November 17, 2019
2 PM @ The Colonial Theatre

Buy Tickets Here

General Admission: $15 | Seniors: $13 | *Students: $6

*Because student ID is required, tickets may only be purchased in-person.

Director: Duki Dror
Genre: Documentary Feature
Country: Israel
Year: 2019
Running Time: 1 hr 3 min
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles

Philadelphia Premiere
This bittersweet story chronicles the noble pursuit of the Chief Rabbi of Copenhagen to build a zoo in Tel Aviv and teach the children of Palestine-Eretz Israel about the importance of caring for and loving animals. Arriving in Tel Aviv in 1935 with two bird cages and an unconventional dream, it would take Max Shorenstein three more years to acquire the location and the requisite number of animals to open Tel Aviv’s first public zoo.

Rabbi Shorenstein began his journey selling 200 varieties of birds and a few small monkeys out of his home and makeshift pet shop on 15 Sheinkin Street. As word of his homegrown “zoo” spread, people from all over the city came to meet “Rabbi Dolittle” and his exotic pets. When his collection of creatures expanded to include lions, bears, and snakes, it was evident he needed a bigger place to run his growing enterprise. While trading in Sheinkin Street for a single-family home with a yard was a step in the right direction, it did not prevent one of Shorenstein’s bears from wandering off onto the streets of Tel Aviv!

As a documentary filmmaker, Duki Dror is fascinated by people who shape the places where they live, yet history has forgotten. That is when he steps in and assures that their efforts to make the world a better place were not made in vain. THERE ARE NO LIONS IN TEL AVIV is as much Israel’s story as it is a human one. Part parable and part cautionary tale, this illuminating doc offers insight into Israel’s progress and exponential growth over the past 80 years.

Special Guests: Sigal Davidi | Architectural Historian at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies


Official Selection:

  • Docaviv
  • Jerusalem Film Festival