A different take on the Jewish State

25 Bay Area teens present a refreshing angle on Israel in a series of films.

By DAVID ALEX NAHMOD
March 16, 2010 05:14
2 minute read.
Young filmmakers pose with an IDF soldier.

young americans idf 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

SAN FRANCISCO – For years now, the San Francisco-based Blue Star PR has been actively engaged in counteracting the media’s negative portrayal of Israel with images that are positive, uplifting and closer to the reality of life in the Holy Land.

To that end, Blue Star sponsored an exciting, innovative program designed to introduce 25 Bay Area teens to the Jewish State. The youngsters were provided with an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel, where they were taught Israeli history, and given the tools to become advocates for the country.

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And on Sunday, an eager crowd filed into the auditorium of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in downtown San Francisco, where the results of the program, titled “Write On for Israel,” were presented.

The teens presented the six short films – the result of their Middle East sojourn. Though the subjects varied, the basic themes remained the same: Israel is an oasis of tolerance and diversity, a haven for many in the war-torn Middle East.

“I have a new perspective on Israel and on being Jewish and that’s amazing,” said an excited Samantha Abernathy as she stepped up to the podium. “I learned a lot more than if I had just read about it.”

In Abernathy’s film, Music: The Universal Language, co-produced with Sarah Doyle and Avalucia Feldman, we learn that, as elsewhere, music with the power to bring diverse people together.

The young women spoke of their delightful visit to the home of pop star Ivri Leder, lingering on the fact that his recording studio is in his Mom’s kitchen.

In The Bubble (not to be confused with the Eytan Fox film of the same name) Yohai Hascalovici, Rachel Poppers, Danielle Herson, and Yarden Rand draw parallels between Tel Aviv and San Francisco. Both cities are unique, sheltered from the conflicts of the outside world, and a safe haven for many.


Israel: The Next Generation takes a look at the country’s teen population, which has a lot more on its plate than its American counterpart. Israelis want to party, but the ever present conflict always looms just over the horizon.

This Is Israel: Inside the IDF pays homage to the soldiers those kids will soon become. The film focuses on the camaraderie that permeates the IDF, shedding light on the army’s humanitarian work, and specifically on the rescue of Ethiopia’s Jewish population. More recently, the film takes a look at the extensive help the IDF offered to the devastated victims of Haiti’s recent earthquake.

All six films drew much applause from the enthusiastic crowd, and Blue Star PR’s Pini Altman, who reports that he hopes to live out his retirement years in Israel, informed the audience that each of the films would be uploaded and archived on YouTube.

For further info: www.BlueStarPR.org.


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