Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Jared Levy, a talented documentarian, filmed a graffiti session between artists SUE WORKS, COPE2, Claire Reid and CJ Reilly which was intended as a birthday salutation to Israel oh her 62nd year of independence. This video was posted on Vimeo, a sight for aspiring filmmakers. Of course, there were a few who were unhappy with any work that expresses positive sentiments about Israel. And, of course, they chose to express themselves with vile language, threats of violence, inaccurate information and intimidation. You can view the video here:
Enjoy the comments HERE
Enjoy the comments HERE
For years now, a controversy has been brewing between certain members of the Jewish community and Michael Steinhardt's ambitious Birthright Israel (BRI) program and, more specifically, the BRI NEXT post-programming. In New York, BRI NEXT is run by Rebecca Sugar, an amazingly gifted and creative thinker who has the unenviable mission of reaching out to the wide and diverse audience that is New York Jewry and keeping them upbeat, aware, educated and engaged in Israel related events and learning. This is a yeoman's job that she handles quite well. In fact, quite better then could be expected of any one else. But, of course, the critics are constantly around to throw darts and prove the long-known truth that those who can - do, those who can't - critique. Detractors of BRI, BRI NEXT or even those who take cheap, high-school popularity style ad-hominem swipes at Michael and Rebecca lack a clear (or, for that matter, unclear) idea of how they would handle similar responsibility.
But, this is not intended as an open letter. This is not intended to weigh in on this in-fighting. We have a job to do - advocating for Israel - and we have decided long ago not to waste our time with the petty squabbles and bickering that paralyze progression and movement.
I am writing simply to point out that in Michael Steinhardt's most recent defense of BRI NEXT, as published in an op-ed in the Jewish Voice he lists Artists 4 Israel as a "partner" organization, intended to prove that BRI NEXT is indeed cutting-edge and working with the top Israeli-advocacy organizations in the country. By the transitive property, we ARE one of the top Israeli-advocacy organizations in the country.
Michael - you are welcome.