A different take on the Jewish State

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

young americans idf 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
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.
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 Generationtakes a look at the country’s teen population, which has a lot more onits plate than its American counterpart. Israelis want to party, butthe ever present conflict always looms just over the horizon.
This Is Israel: Inside the IDFpays homage to the soldiers those kids will soon become. The filmfocuses on the camaraderie that permeates the IDF, shedding light onthe army’s humanitarian work, and specifically on the rescue ofEthiopia’s Jewish population. More recently, the film takes a look atthe extensive help the IDF offered to the devastated victims of Haiti’srecent earthquake.
All six films drew much applause from the enthusiastic crowd, and BlueStar PR’s Pini Altman, who reports that he hopes to live out hisretirement years in Israel, informed the audience that each of thefilms would be uploaded and archived on YouTube.

For further info: www.BlueStarPR.org.