A 'Shtisel' Spin-Off Called 'Kugel' Is in the Works – Kveller
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A ‘Shtisel’ Spin-Off Called ‘Kugel’ Is in the Works


courtesy of Yes Studios

“Shtisel” was conceived while eating kugel at a Bnei Brak eatery called, well, Shtishel, which serves Ashkenazi staples — so it only makes sense that the upcoming spin-off of this beloved Israeli show would be given the name of the beloved noodle dish.

Yes Studios just announced their programming for the next year, and while there are many incredible-looking shows in the roster, the new “Shtisel” spinoff “Kugel” (pronounced “kigel” in this context, I believe!) is probably the most exciting of this promising lot.

Yehonatan Indursky, the co-creator of “Shtisel,” is behind the show, which will follow Nuchem (Sasson Gabai) and Libby (Hadas Yaron — who is about to star in Hulu’s “We Were the Lucky Ones” with Michael Aloni) in the years prior to their move to Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood.

The show will take place in Antwerp; the Belgian city has a prominent Jewish population, of which about 20,000 are Haredi Jews. So just like the original, we’re getting a look into a not oft-explored and insular Jewish community.

In Antwerp, Nuchem spends his day, like much of the city’s Jewish population, as a jewelry and diamond dealer, enjoying the city’s vibrant kosher eateries — where he eats delicious kugel, of course — and cursing out some “resho’im arurim,” we can only assume.

His young daughter, Libby, like many of her peers, hopes to become engaged, but something is setting her back. Their little family was  recently torn when their matriarch — Libby’s mother — abandoned them. While Libby rejects her, Nuchem hopes to win her back. Just like “Shtisel,” the show will be about love, family and the perilous tense dynamics therein.

News of this spin-off was first published on Walla in January 2023, with Gabai telling the publication that he was very excited for this new show and hoped that it would happen soon. It looks like his hopes are becoming a reality.

Other intriguing programming coming out this year includes a show starring Noa Kirel, Israel’s upcoming Eurovision representative, a show titled “Berlin Blues” about two Israeli expats who try to settle in the German capital, and a reality TV show that follows Israel’s 1998 Eurovision winner and national treasure, Dana International. The streaming service is also releasing four original documentary films, including one about my personal favorite singer Yehuda Poliker, a movie about Quentin Tarantino’s late father in law, Svika Pick, and beloved 90s indie icon Inbal Perlmuter who was killed in a traffic accident at age 26 over a quarter century ago.

There’s no release date yet for “Kugel,” but it should be airing in Israel sometime in 2023. We can’t imagine this show not being released to international audiences eventually, especially considering the whirlwind success of the original — though we don’t know if it will keep its original title (we hope it will, because we all need a show named kugel in our lives).

In case you’re wondering what type of kugel Nuchem relishes in the Belgian city, it’s most lokhshen kugel, or Jerusalem kugel, the sweet and savory peppery dish topped with a slightly burnt sugary crust. Gabai shares that it’s perfect with a pickle on the side in the newly released promo for the show.

Our friends at The Nosher have a recipe that you can savor as you wait for more news about this highly anticipated show.

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