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  • Shmuel Hoffman

Dream Deferred?

What happens to a dream deferred?

 

While these past few months have been exhausting for Jews everywhere, we'd like to bring out some glimmers of hope, even if they're from before October 7th.

 

Last year we produced a film for OpenDor Media for the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, which is connected to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

 



 

The stated mission of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem is:

 

A Museum for visitors of all ages, religions and cultural backgrounds from throughout the region and the world that will encourage democracy, combat the roots of antisemitism and extremism, and promote regional stability, global harmony, human dignity and a love of Israel.

 

While the outrageous October 7th massacre and the horrific antisemitism we have seen rear its ugly head since then have severely dampened these aspirations, we want to amplify the voices of hope for peace and tolerance that still burns strongly in the hearts of parties of every race, creed, background, and nationality. According to Wikipedia, this is the current breakdown of the population in Israel:

 

  • 73.2% are Jews

  • 21.1% are Israeli citizens classified as Arab, some identifying as Palestinian, and including DruzeCircassians, all other Muslims, Christian Arabs

  • An additional 5.7% classified as "others" like people of Jewish ancestry but not recognized as Jewish by religious law, non-Jewish family members of Jewish immigrants, Christians

 

Is The Dream Still Alive?

As we know, Jews were not the only ethnic group affected by the Hamas invasion on October 7th. We have seen an outpouring of grief about the event from all pockets, and we know - we hope - that most citizens of any state just want peace, a chance to pursue a positive future, and safety for themselves, their children, and their elders.

 

The Story of Making this Film:

 

The Challenge

We got a call from producer Raphael Shore at OpenDor Media with a unique brief: Make a film for the new Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem (MOTJ). They'd built a new state-of-the-art building, but had no exhibits yet. The goal of the film would be to show what this museum is about without much to film inside (beside the gorgeous architecture.)

 

People and Metaphors

When you can’t film exhibits, which is the normal way of making a film about a museum, we decided to film what the place stands for. The MOTJ, like its LA counterpart, is all about tolerance. There, it’s about the Holocaust, but here, it’s about bridging divides in Israel. We focused the film on people, the real faces of Israel, in all their beautiful diversity. The MOTJ isn’t just any museum; it’s where the Abraham Accords were signed, making history.

 

Creative Approach

Inspired by street artist JR, we filmed diverse portraits of Jerusalem’s people and projected these onto the MOTJ’s walls throughout the building. To add depth, we worked with rapper Noah Shufutinsky (West Side Gravy) for a strong narrative voiceover, blending poetry with the museum’s mission and showcasing the stunning architecture of the building itself. Noah Shufutinsky (West Side Gravy) had just moved to Israel, and his own poetic words helped shape the storytelling in this piece. We met in our studio stateside to discuss the vision for this, and to sit down and write his script for this piece.

 

Overcoming Filming Hurdles

Filming near the Temple Mount wasn’t easy. Drone footage was tricky due to tight airspace and close proximity to the Temple Mount and the U.S. embassy. Thanks to Ilan Rozenberg and some last-minute clearances, we nailed the shots we needed.

 

The Building

The Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem is primarily a space, and we featured this visually in our promotional film. But it represents so much more, and it's that intrinsic value that we had to conceptualize, so that this film would be more than just a building tour. We wanted this film to inspire peace, to shout a call to action to organizations to create interfaith and international events in the space, a call to the global community to come together for common causes. It is an event space meant to inspire, a cross-cultural edifice whose goal is to unite.

 

Relevance Amid Conflict

With the Gaza conflict ongoing, one might wonder, why even pursue tolerance in tough times? But without the hope for peace, the constant entropy that can devolve interactions into arguments (or worse) can so easily take over.


I know it's easier to say this from thousands of miles away in the US where we sit, unscathed. But don’t give up. The MOTJ symbolizes resilience. It’s about keeping a positive outlook, no matter what.

 

With prayers for peace and safety, and the return of the hostages ASAP.


Click here to watch another film we produced with

 

 


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1 Comment


mikeandbarbara
Mar 12

Visually beautiful, emotionally stirring and, as always, exquisite taste in music for the soundtrack.

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