As “Walk on Water,” an award-winning Israeli film, played in Hausdoerffer Main Lounge last Tuesday, Feb. 16, the audience laughed, gasped and sang along as music from Bruce Springsteen played through the speakers in one of the scenes.
As the movie depicted Israel’s lively urban cities, beautiful landmarks, busy markets and bustling people, the overwhelming differences between American culture and Israeli culture melted away. Suddenly, the Middle East did not seem so far away.
The Jewish Student Union/Hillel (JSU) sponsored the Israeli movie night. Hillel welcomed students for a free viewing of the critically acclaimed film, which has been nominated for many awards, including the Israeli Film Society and the Cesar Awards in France.
The movie tells the story of Eyal, a Mossad agent (the national intelligence agency of Israel) whose next assignment is to find and kill Himmelmann, a former Nazi officer, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).
Danna Wolf, junior psychology major, who is the religious and cultural vice president of JSU and was one of the primary planners of the event. With the showing of “Walk on Water,” she aimed to offer other students at the College an opportunity to explore a new culture, giving them an option to expand beyond their current realm of knowledge.
First year JSU board member, Evan Greenberger, junior philosophy major, said, “Students may have a conception of Israel that is probably right, and probably wrong. We want to show that parts of Israeli culture are not so different than ours.”
JSU’s president Hiloeo Steinburg, senior nursing major, oversaw the event.
For students like Sarah Walsh, sophomore deaf education and history double major, Israel may be just a registration form away. Walsh attended the viewing of “Walk on Water” while counting down the minutes to midnight, when she could officially register for a birthright trip to Israel, a program partially funded by the Israeli government that pays for young adults to take a free 10-day trip to Israel. Walsh is involved in JSU and thought the movie would offer her a glimpse of the culture she hopes to experience first-hand this summer.
“The movie was interesting to watch … I really liked it,” Walsh said.
JSU is looking forward to March, which is Jewish Awareness Month. With upcoming cultural events in the Brower Student Center, guest speakers, a musical, as well as their continued services and bagel brunches, students at the College will have plenty of opportunities to learn about and experience Jewish culture.