New Guide to
Israeli Film Released
“Israel at the Movies” builds cultural bridge between Americans and Israel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Deborah Fishman, American Zionist Movement
For more information, please call: 847-677-5949
The American Zionist Movement (AZM) in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and World Zionist Organization, Department for Zionist Activities, released a new guide to eight Israeli films. Published as an initiative in commemoration of Israel at 60, the guide enables hands-on exploration and discussion of Israeli society as seen through its cinema. The guide is designed both for those looking to teach about Israel as well as those who wish to learn more about Israel themselves, and is suitable for use in synagogues, community centers and classes, film groups, Israel clubs or among any other interested group of individuals.
In addition to providing the relevant cinematographic and historical background crucial for a full appreciation of these movies, this guide enables active, critical thinking through thought-provoking activities and questions for discussion.
“One of the goals of the American Zionist Movement is to strengthen the connection between American Jews and Israel,” said Executive Director Karen Rubinstein. “This guide helps build that bridge by making Israeli culture more accessible to Americans.”
The guide is organized thematically, addressing four important themes underlying Israeli society: Outsiders and Integration into Israeli Society, Jewish-Arab Relations, The Role of Religion, and Interpersonal Relationships in Israeli Society. Two movies are featured under each theme.
“Israeli films can be powerful lenses through which to examine Israeli society,” said AZM President William D. Hess. “This guide allows viewers of Israeli movies to actively engage with the societal themes presented and develop a more nuanced view of Israel in the process – all while watching enjoyable movies.”
The movies covered range from feature film to documentary and from historical classic to blockbuster hit, but each was selected because it met the criteria of being a quality film with artistic merit above and beyond its educational value.
“The State of Israel in its 60th year, is a vibrant and dynamic nation. We are so delighted to offer synagogues and community institutions these films and discussion guides as a window, viewing the challenges and joys of modern life in our ancient homeland,” said Rabbi Eric M. Lankin, Chief of Institutional Advancement and Education at JNF.
The guide is the latest in a series of educational materials AZM has developed, including Bring Them Home Now, a guide to the Jewish and moral issues associated with the abduction of Israeli soldiers, and Truth About Israel, an educational program showcasing Israel’s humanitarian and technological exports and how they affect the lives of non-Jews around the world.
“Israel at the Movies: Your Guide to 8 Israeli Films” is available for order in booklet form, and is also downloadable on the AZM website. For more information, please visit: www.azm.org/film.shtml.
AZM – the American affiliate of the World Zionist Organization – is an umbrella organization that works to strengthen the connection of American Jews with Israel, facilitating dialogue, debate and collective action to further Zionism in the United States and abroad.
Jewish National Fund (JNF) began in 1901 collecting coins in blue boxes to purchase land and return the Jewish people to their homeland. In over 106 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for the land and people of Israel. JNF has planted 240 million trees. Built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas. Constructed security roads. Educated students around the world about Israel. Created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home. Discovered drip irrigation and new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert. Built over 190 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 10%. Today, JNF is supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers by developing the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier. For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit www.jnf.org. JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.