Local Stars Help EU Cities Strut Their Stuff

"Made in Israel," which premiers this week on the Channel 2, is a series about the Israeli dream of finding success abroad.

"Made in Israel," which premiers tonight on the Channel 2, is a series produced by Keshet Productions about the Israeli dream of finding success abroad. The episodes travel the length and breadth of chilly European capitals on the trail of Israelis who have made it by establishing a million pound sterling hotel; scoring a goal on a coveted sports team; performing on a desirable festival stage; or cooking for the masters in designer kitchens.

From a distance you can hardly see the sweat on their brows. Eyal Kitzis enthusiastically interviews Ranin Boulos, a former "Big Brother" reality show participant who has moved on to manage a company in London. She hosts Kitzis in her quiet office. Zvika Hadar meets Pini Zahavi and Tal Ben Haim. Erez Tal talks to Israelis who have succeeded in the television field with Cannes, Paris and London in the background. And Assi Ezer, Haim Cohen and Ido Rosenblum also get free flights abroad to discover the secret of success.

But that's apparently the trouble with "Made in Israel." As a series funded by the European Union with the goal of strengthening relations between Israel and EU members, it arouses some suspicion.

When the series gets involved in the success stories of locals, its somewhat provincial enthusiasm does make one proud. But sometimes even the experienced and professional hosts, all from Keshet's talent stable, can't always manage to make the material attractive.

Perhaps the idea that Israelis find it hard to give credit to countrymen and women who succeed abroad is true; or perhaps it's just not that interesting.

"Made in Israel," Thursdays, Second Channel, 21:45.