New Documentary Explores American Jews' Feelings for Israel - The Verdict? It's Complicated.

New Documentary Explores American Jews' Feelings for Israel - The Verdict? It's Complicated.


By Tamar Fox
Jewcy.com
March 12, 2008

There's a small but significant slice of American Jewry with an unwavering devotion to Israel and Israeli policies. This is mainly the Modern Orthodox crowd. For the rest of us, trying to sort out how we feel about Israel in the midst of an intifada, a war, a peace process, or a political scandal can be complicated and painful. A new documentary called Eyes Wide Open is getting rave reviews for its thoughtful and evocative treatment of this issue. Directed by Jerusalem-based filmmaker Paula Weiman-Kelman, Eyes Wide Open follows a handful of American visitors to Israel: A birthright group, a New Israel Fund mission, two Americans working for Palestinian rights, a delegation from New York's Bnai Jeshurun synagogue, and a lesbian couple--and tries to explore their feelings and thought processes as they struggle with the reality they see in Israel, and their often contradictory liberal leanings.

The film premiered in New York at the JCC in Manhattan, and will soon be shown at the 92nd St. YMCA, Jewish film festivals, Hillels, and synagogues across America. Weiman-Kelman and the film's writers and producers have created educational materials to go along with the documentary that they hope will raise questions and get people talking about Israel in a real way. The film is also being screened in Israel, so Israeli audiences can get a glimpse of what's going on inside the tour buses that so often clog the streets of Jerusalem.

To bring "Eyes Wide Open" to your community, head to the film's website. You can also read reactions to the film from the Jerusalem Post, Ynet, and Ha'aretz.

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