In just 55 minutes, “Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference” makes a compelling case for the Jewish State. Produced by JerusalemOnlineU.com, the documentary attempts to look “beyond the conflict” and focus on the positive contributions of the small but successful country.
Couched as a narrative following the personal journey of New York Times bestselling author and former Harvard lecturer Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, who left his job and life in America to return to his homeland, “Israel Inside” is actually a potent piece of positive publicity for a country often criticized by international media.
“I think about Israel as a country driven by technology and prosperity, while many others think only about camels, war and falafel,” Ben-Shahar said of the film. “By shifting the focus onto the strength and resilience of the Jewish people in the face of adversity, we hope Israel Inside can help counter false portrayals of Israel in the face of ongoing conflict.”
“We have a lot to celebrate as a nation, and this film was made to change the focus people have about Israel,” Ben-Shahar added.
A veritable who’s-who of Jewish thought leadership joins Ben-Shahar on screen to muse about what makes the Jewish State unique. Israeli President Shimon Peres, co-founder of Birthright Israel Michael Steinhardt, leading historian Sir Martin Gilbert, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, Britain’s former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, and venture capitalists Jonathan Medved and Erel Margalit all make appearances in the documentary.
Ben-Shahar identifies six so-called actualizers that he credits with setting Israel apart: family, adversity to advantage, chutzpah, education, taking action, and tikkun olam.
“None of these actualizers are in and of themselves unique to Israel, but in combination, they are bringing about an almost unparalleled progress, success and contribution to the world,” Ben-Shahar says in the film. “These actualizers have not only made Israel what it is, they also have the potential to help us all enjoy happier, more successful, more productive lives. Through them we can contribute. We can make the world a better place.”
As evidence, “Israel Inside” points to Israeli inventions like the ReWalk, which enables the paralyzed to walk again, and companies like Better Place and Save a Child’s Heart. The film adds that Israel was among the first to send teams to Haiti and Japan, and continued to send aid even after danger to the workers became apparent.
“Israel Inside is an inspiring film that portrays the often hidden faces of Israel to the world,” said producer Rabbi Raphael Shore. “The film explores the essence of what makes Israelis thrive, and we look forward to bringing this message to communities across North America and around the world.”
The slickly produced film aims to change the dialogue surrounding the Jewish State.
.ORG-Connection: JerusalemOnineU.com’s vision is to transform Jewish and Israel education for the 21st century and to inspire, unify, and activate Jewish people of all ages as passionate supporters of Israel and the Jewish people.
This review was originally published on Jspace News on May 24, 2012.