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There Are No Lions in Tel Aviv

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There Are No Lions In Tel Aviv
Directed byDuki Dror
Produced byLiat Kamai Eshed
Music byFrank Ilfman
CinematographyRoni Katzenelson
Edited byRon Goldman
Zygote Films
Distributed byGo2Films
Running time
63 minutes / 54 minutes
LanguageEnglish / Hebrew

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There Are No Lions in Tel Aviv is a documentary film directed by Israeli director Duki Dror.[1]It was produced by Zygote Films for KAN. The film reveals the bittersweet story of a Rabbi who envisioned the Tel Aviv Zoo in the 1930s and was then banished from it. A parable about a new city conceived by dreamers, replaced by indifferent bureaucrats and later dominated by real-estate tigers. It was released in May 2019 and premiered at the Docaviv (Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival), winning the Docaviv Research Award.[2]


The story of the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community of Copenhagen, who would come to be known as Rabbi Doolittle. Arriving in Tel Aviv in 1936, Max Schorenstein left his honourable position, in order to fulfil a longtime dream; to build a zoo and teach the children of Palestine-Eretz Israel the love of animals. His dream had come true and against all odds, the Tel Aviv Zoo became the city's greatest attraction. Yet, envy, greed, and corruption by city officials banished him from the very paradise he had built. It is the tale of a city, raised from sand, to become an international cultural and financial hub only a century later, and reveals the price that was paid for this exponential growth.


  • Duki Dror - director
  • Liat Kamai Eshed - producer
  • Roni Katzenelson - cinematographer
  • Ron Goldman - editor
  • Ronen Nagel - sound design
  • Nati Taub - sound design
  • Frank Ilfman - original music
  • Carmit Sapir Weitz - research and treatment
  • Galia Dror - research and treatment


  • Elia Etkin - historian
  • Esther Goldstein - Schorenstein's granddaughter
  • Haya Erez - animal handler
  • Israel Godovich - former city planner of Tel Aviv
  • Michael Malchior - Schorenstein's great grandson
  • Pinchas Malchior - Schorenstein's grandson
  • Rafi Guy Ron - zoologist
  • Ram Gophna - archaeologist
  • Roni Groner - daughter of Nora
  • Shlomo Pardes - animal taxidermist
  • Tuvia Kurtz - painter
  • Zeev Engelmeyer - artist, illustrator and teacher at Bezalel



  • Docaviv Research Award [WON] - There Are No Lions In Tel Aviv: Carmit Sapir Weitz and Galia Dror

External links[edit]


  1. "The crazy tale of Tel Aviv's Rabbi Dolittle who brought the animal world to Israel". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  2. "'There Are No Lions In Tel Aviv' at Docaviv". Docaviv. Retrieved 8 July 2019.

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