Jerusalem Post Grapevine
Greer Fay Cashman
February 23, 2008
IT'S ALL in the family. The press release for the February 28 Israel premiere at the Jerusalem Cinematheque of Paula Weiman Kelman's documentary Eyes Wide Open that chronicles the preconceptions and revelations of American Jews as they visit Israel, was prepared by Mindset Public Relations whose CEO is Roberta Fahn-Schoffman, the wife of award-winning journalist Stuart Schoffman who wrote the script. Fahn-Schoffman is an expert on US-Israel relations and Diaspora Jewry and from 1999-2001 served as adviser on world Jewish affairs to prime minister Ehud Barak.
Statistics taken from a 2007 study commissioned by The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies indicate that only 48 percent of the non-Orthodox respondents under the age of 35 would regard Israel's destruction as a personal tragedy. Moreover, only 54% are "comfortable with the idea of a Jewish State." The film's New York premiere in January sparked passionate responses and wide media coverage. It will be interesting to see if the Israeli premiere and panel discussion that follows will provoke the same degree of passion. Weiman-Kelman and Schoffman will participate in the panel discussion along with the film's producer Jonathan Lopatin and MK Colette Avital who is a former Israel consul general in New York, journalist Yossi Klein Halevi, who made aliya from the US and Eliezer Yaari, a former electronic media journalist who is the director of the New Israel Fund. Weiman-Kelman says that she hopes the film will become a springboard for honest and open discussions about the emotional and communal ties that bind the American Jewish community to Israel today.