Endorsements

“Amy Beth Oppenheimer is one of the few people in the United States who actually understands and is able to present the nuances on these issues.”

Rabbi Andrew Sacks, Director of the Masorti Rabbinical Assembly in Israel

Faces of Israel is a mature and informative piece on the topic of Jewish marriage in Israel. The film does a fine job of indicating how this issue relates to the question of Israel as a Jewish state and does not shy away from discussing the role that the Chief Rabbinate should — or should not — play in that State. The film also thoughtfully discusses the challenges that the Reform, Masorti and Modern Orthodox movements face in Israel and how these groups are coming to play a greater role in this arena as growing sectors of the Israeli public increasingly search for an alternate to the official Orthodox Rabbinate. Faces of Israel is highly engaging and is recommended as an educational tool for Hebrew schools, universities and synagogues of all denominations across North America.”

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

“…a fair and insightful film that is appropriate for all audiences and backgrounds”

Rabbi Basil Herring, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America

“A fascinating exploration of religion and state in Israel. What particularly pleased me was that the camera took me to places I never could have gotten to by myself, like meeting the rabbanit for premarital counseling. A very thoughtful – sometimes infuriating – view of how religious authorities in Israel interface with couples on the brink of marriage.”

Rabbi Judith Hauptman, Chair of the Department of Talmud and Rabbinics at Jewish Theological Seminary

Faces of Israel offers a fair and insightful exploration of issues that are important to the entire Jewish people today. The film is engaging and exposes the viewer to a wide range of beliefs and opinions, while allowing the audience to make up their own minds about the questions the film raises. Educational and entertaining, Faces of Israel offers a significant contribution to the Jewish community and to our shuls and schools.”

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Avi Weiss, Founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Faces of Israel is a wonderful contribution to the world of Jewish film. It covers difficult topics in a fair and balanced approach and in a way that is sensitive to the personalities and issues. Yishar cochech to director Amy Oppenheimer on a valuable and significant production.”

Rabbi Yosef Blau, Mashgiach Ruchani of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

“The Faces of Israel program that I was part of in Washington DC, is professionally produced, thought-provoking, and well documented. It takes the audience through the range of opinions and experiences that define or challenge the boundaries of so many of today’s critical issues. I was honored to take part in this experience.”

Rabbi Dr. Barry Freundel, Rabbi of Kesher Israel and Chair of the RCA Gerus Policies and Standards Committee

“Every minute of Faces of Israel was fascinating to me. My husband stopped what he was doing to follow along, and I was so afraid to miss a word I had to keep shushing him when he wanted to start discussing it in the moment! Faces of Israel is a new and effective tool for teaching how Israel struggles with competing understandings of Israel’s Jewish character. It features a vast spectrum of interesting and compelling voices articulating their divergent views on the ideal role of the Chief Rabbinate and the relationship of religious ceremonies, civil unions and same-sex marriages in Israel. Faces of Israel takes the viewer inside the world of religious marriage and outside of that world to meet those who perform non-traditional ceremonies. A unique invitation to learn about Israel directly from Israelis, that does not depend on prior knowledge of the subject and comes with teacher resources to delve yet more deeply into the issues raised by the film.”

Rabbi Erin Hirsh, Director of Education of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

“Documentaries are intended less to entertain than to educate. Amy Oppenheimer’s film educates yet does so without compromising viewer interest from beginning to end. She deals with a complex subject – the marriage ceremony in Israel that must accommodate both religious and secular Jews. Her interviews of the Chief Rabbinate, marrying couples and singles, the interdenominational Jewish religious leaders and the creators of new organizations trying to bridge all of the disparate elements are done in a manner that is balanced, fair and free of caricature. Oppenheimer takes no easy pot shots where other film-makers might have.
It is a relief to view an honest and sophisticated presentation that sheds more light than heat on an issue many struggle with in the young Jewish State.”

Rabbi Irving and Blu Greenberg, Founder of CLAL and The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, respectively

“This documentary about religious life in Israel, particularly as it relates to marriage, is very instructive. I am especially pleased that it presents frankly and forthrightly the perspective of religiously observant, but non-Orthodox, Jews (Masorti and Reform). For them, the opportunity — often denied — to marry in accordance with the Halakhah of their communities is a most fundamental right, and one of the keys to healing the secular-religious rift in Israel.”

Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY, Prominent Conservative Leader and Prolific Author

Faces of Israel enables and empowers its viewers to discuss and formulate opinions about some of the most important questions facing the State of Israel and the Jewish people today. The film’s strength lies in its ability to fairly and regularly intersect the voices of the Rabbinate with the voices of Israeli citizens, thereby opening up a range of issues for discussion. Faces of Israel is powerful, honest and is a must-see for synagogues and schools across the country.”

Rabbi Saul Berman

Rabbi Saul Berman, Founder of Edah and Professor at Stern College and Columbia School of Law

“In Faces of Israel, Amy Oppenheimer has produced a quality presentation that provides much material for discussion with regard to the nature of Israel as a Jewish State. She focuses on areas in which the Chief Rabbinate, as an official State Authority, impacts the lives of Israelis. From my perspective, the answer is clearly greater pluralism and less authority for the Chief Rabbinate, but the essence of Ms. Oppenheimer’s fine work is that it leaves open to the viewer such judgments; she does not try to force the viewer onto one path or another.”

David Lissy

David Lissy, Executive Director and CEO of the Masorti Foundation For Conservative Judaism in Israel

Faces of Israel is a timely and valuable contribution to Jewish film. An excellent touchstone for sparking discussion and thought on the issues, Faces of Israel is an important documentary for all those interested in Israel’s future.”

Amos Kamil, Director of Israel Advocacy Initiative at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs