Quotables

The film has enormous potential for Jewish education. It serves as an inspiring evocation of the place of Israel in our lives, while providing a deep understanding of the many varied voices and visions of life in contemporary Israel. Through the eyes of Americans visiting Israel and reacting to their experiences we get a rich, multilayered, critical appreciation of the wonder and problems of modern Israel. The film will be an excellent vehicle in teacher training, working with youth, and adult education to help people more deeply connect with Israel and grapple with the tensions and pressures buffeting Israeli society and politics. It is also a very moving and beautifully filmed exploration of the land and people of Israel. This film is a real gift to Jewish education at a crucial time in Israel's history. Bravo to all who have made it possible.

Rabbi Steven M. Brown, Ed.D
Dean, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education
Director, Melton Research Center for Jewish Education
Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Paula Weiman-Kelman's film is perceptive and enlightening. It presents the responses of American-Jewish tourists to Israel and illuminates both the enthusiastic devotion of older, veteran visitors and the sometimes more ambivalent reactions of first-time participants in organized group visits. In doing so, it also stimulates a renewed--and perhaps revised--attitude among Israelis themselves, who witness the enthusiasm of the visitors as they encounter famous sites, both historic and new. The "Eyes Wide Open" of the title can thus be interpreted as referring equally to both the "local"audience and the visitors. Clearly, the film constitutes an excellent trigger for further discussion on both sides of the ocean

Alice Shalvi
Noted scholar and feminist

Paula Weiman-Kelman's new film "Eyes Wide Open" is a groundbreaking attempt to capture - through film - the changing relationship between American Jews and Israel. Weiman-Kelman's up-front and personal approach is emotionally moving, thought provoking, and a much needed stimulus for further dialogue on this unique, sometimes ambivalent, but always passionate relationship.

Deborah Kaufman
Founder of the San Francisco Jewish Film

Eyes Wide Open shows us how important it is for American Jews, whatever their politics or religious involvement, to go to Israel, to taste and smell Israel, to hear its language and sounds, to walk on its holy soil (even for those visitors who don't think it holy, and who oppose its government's policies), to speak to its people, and to get their own measure of the land. With perceptive interview after perceptive interview, Eyes Wide Open reminds us that for American Jews the journey to Israel remains the central journey of Jewish life today.

Joseph Telushkin
Writer, senior fellow at CLAL

Once You Visit Israel, Everything Looks Different