Jewish Journal

Two Israeli-Jewish projects you should know about

by Noga Gur-Arieh

December 12, 2012 | 10:29 am

Contribute to the project in the recording studio of Bar Ilan University. Photo by Alex Shumonov

1. This year, as part of the international Holocaust Memorial Day commemorated on January 27th, a new song will be released too national radio stations in Israel. This song is a co-production of holocaust survivors and popular musicians in Israel. This initiative, called 'Insights' includes a production of a song, made entirely from Holocaust survivors' messages to the next generation.

The project was dreamed and organized by 22 year old Na'ama Winetraub, as a response to what she refers to as "indifference of the contemporary Jewish and Israeli generation to their grandparents' stories and insights from surviving the holocaust." Winetraub, born and raised in Israel, is herself a third generation to holocaust survivors. She is a B.A student in brain research, and works as a personal trainer. The idea for the project came to her mind during summer break, and since then, she has been working on this project in her spare time, and on a completely voluntary basis. "The kick off wasn't easy at all," says Winetraub, " I am not well acquainted with the Israeli music scene and what was simple and obvious to studio and production personnel, was completely new and unfamiliar to me. Finding survivors who would be willing to collaborate, was also quite a challenge. I got lucky when two of my trainees, Tal Segev and Ohad Ben-Avi, who come from the local music scene, decided to join me, also voluntarily."

If you too, know any holocaust survivors who would be interested in telling their story, Winetraub and her crew would love to receive their name and contact info, as well as 3-4 sentences with the insights they wish to share with future generations.

Even though the musicians and crew work pro-bono, the studio hours where the song is being composed and recorded, cost money, and the crew would like your help: tellers and donors who are willing to support this initiative may contact Naama at: insightsproject.shy@gmail.com



2. Season two of The Israeli Film Festival on Public Television is on its way to national television in the US! All that's needed are your donations! The Israeli Film Festival on Public Television is a cultural documentary series, which serves as a cultural bridge between Israelis and Americans. The documentaries show Israelis of all backgrounds living their daily lives, as well as the very beautiful sides of Israel. What makes those Israeli documentaries special is that unlike many, they don't focus on any of the Israeli political conflicts.

Season one of the Israeli Film Festival on Public Television was a test run. The series featured three documentaries made by Duki Dror: My Fantasia, Raging Dove and The Journey of Vaan Nguyen. The films were released to all PBS stations in August 2010 and to date the films have aired 508 times on 68 stations in 42 markets covering 36% of U.S. Designated Markets including 52% of the Top 25 markets. These airings have garnered at least 2.5 million viewers. The majority of airings are in prime time and late fringe prime. These stats will continue to climb as the stations have the broadcast rights for one more year. The funding for the first season came from a grant from the Israel Film Fund of the Manhattan JCC and from personal investments of funding and labor from Cynthia Zeiden and Duki Dror.

Season Two will include thirteen, hour-long documentaries produced and directed by various Israeli Filmmakers. They will be offered through a national public television distributor and fed by satellite to all PBS stations in the United States. Each documentary will be given a three year broadcast rights period and PBS stations will be able to air them an unlimited number of times within that period. The series has an informational website with trailers for each film and local airdate information.

The goal of the project is to have the documentaries air on as many PBS stations as possible as many times as possible to gain the maximum number of viewers. In order for the creators of the project to have it aired, they need to raise 180,000$. This includes paying license fees to the producers of the documentaries, editing and formatting each for United States television broadcasts, closed captioning, satellite feed fees, public television promotional event, marketing materials and DVD mailing, a series website and the labor of the personnel to implement the project. Once all of the preparations are made, the duration of this project is three years. For further information and donation pledges, go here

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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