“View: Who is a Jewish woman? in Cinema – a report about the Wonderful Women project, one of 4 dialogue initiatives supported by Partnership2Gether.
Question: Why did you join the Wonderful Women initiative?
When I caught a glimpse of the email notice which read “A Look at the Jewish Woman in Film” my curiosity was aroused – about what was behind the notice – something about it drew my attention and I decided to find out what was “behind the scenes.”
In the past, I wanted to take an experiential course in acting and the performing arts, but it never worked out. I couldn’t find a course that did not require a long term commitment, or which didn’t involve long tiring trips out of town. But, suddenly, here Partnership2Gether was offering me something fascinating, atypical, and subsidizing it, just 8 minutes drive from my home, at the Srigim communal community. I decided to check it out.
I picked up the phone and, after quickly clarifying some details, I knew I had to try it – because it just spoke to me.
The project brings together women from the ultra-orthodox community and women from the non-religious sector, and aims to allow us to get to know each other, to talk and to understand each other, and to bridge the gaps between the two worlds. It is a sort of dialogue which generates warmth between us. We were divided up into pairs, to make a short video clip about “the essence of the Jewish woman” from a different perspective, each bringing an angle from her own world.
In the media the ultra-orthodox have always been portrayed as coming from a “primitive” world, a world without leisure or the joys of life, a world of wretches, “uncultured” people etc.
I want to portray to the world the things that the eye does not see and the ear does not hear in the media – but it’s true!
The idea really appealed to me, as an ultra-orthodox woman, married, a mother of four, and with a business of my own. I want to show the outside world – women from outside my community – an amazing world, full of beauty (and fun activities too) with joy and an uplifting value experience!
A number of workshops were held, which we all enjoyed and looked forward to the next session. Between the lessons we exchange information and experiences, and write to each other through the Google group.
What is great about this is that the women who put this project together are Haya Yosewitz, an ultra orthodox woman, and Hila Timor, a secular woman.
Hila is the professional who does not shirk from learning the technical side of directing and video photography. She pools and passes on material, efficiently interestingly, together with Haya, on the ideological topics which are conveyed in an appealing way, and there are refreshments and even whole meals which help to bond us.
Question: Who participates in this?
18 women: women with professions – some are young and some are young in spirit.
There are ultra-orthodox women, religious women, secular women = each with her viewpoint, and her style of dress.
Question: What have you learned from the program so far?
We have studied and are still studying the technical and professional sides of making a movie, including the rules of photography, camera angles, the way to film, how to interview people for a documentary. We have learned to differentiate between a film and a report, and we are working on scriptwriting.
Question: Can you share a special experience in the group with the readers?
Each session is an experience, and we are look forward to the next one.
1. At one of the sessions, called How to Approach an Interview, and How to Interview – the experience was the exercise and we just practiced doing it!! It was an exercise in conveying something!!!
We divided into pairs. Working in couples generated a situation of “one on one”, and then your heart opens up.
There were women who helped with the “The Interviewee and the Interviewer” exercise. One worked the camera and another held the microphone with a boom, the third was the interviewer, with the interviewee sitting in front of her. To begin with, the interviewer and the interviewee just sat there with their arms folded, and were a bit tense. But after a short “warm up” we were all open mouthed, and went to see more and more…
2. Sometimes we have to do homework, bring a photograph etc. Once I brought a picture of my family and I got all sorts of reactions: “Wow! I would have never connected you with someone that looks so ultra-orthodox (they were referring to my husband’s style of dress)! or, there was another reaction, from someone who made a face that meant: “you are so normal!” I wanted to share with you that my ultra-orthodox is also normal.
I joined Partnership2Gether’s Wonderful Women course/project to show the beauty of the ultra-orthodox family.