Beneath the Helmet
By Heidi Krizer Daroff
So often we read about the bravery and accomplishments of the Israel Defense Forces. In fact, the Israeli Army has been often ranked among the top ten military forces in comparison to those of other countries around the globe. This could lead one to wonder, how do they become so good?
Considering that military service is mandatory and those in charge are not just picking from an elite group but are dealing with the entire population, it is a reasonable question.
JerusalemU begins to explore this idea with their new film, Beneath the Helmet-From High School to the Home Front.
This sixty-five minute documentary explores the journey of a handful of new recruits and their commanders. The movie made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all it made me proud. It made me proud because I could identify with so much of what was expressed throughout the film. The themes of wanting to serve the Jewish Homeland, wanting to do your part for your people and seeing yourself as part of this extended family to whom you want to offer help and support is for so many of us the guiding principals of our lives.
When the Endowment for Middle East Truth, (EMET), invited The Israel Forever Foundation to co-sponsor a screening of Beneath the Helmet on Capitol Hill, we were extremely proud to sign on. Almost immediately after announcing the screening RSVP’s began to stream in.
Even though we only had a little over a week to promote the event, we had a packed room. The attendees were fascinated as together we watched the story unfold. Capping off the event, Aviv Regev, a commander who is shown throughout the film spoke with and answered questions from our audience.
“I feel that this movie was extremely important to show to young staffers on Capitol Hill because it helps to engender a sense of empathy towards what the average young Israeli has to face; to have his teenager years, when American youth are thinking about where to go to college and about which girl to date, to have his life totally disrupted by the need to protect and defend his county. Many young Americans think Israel is “too nationalistic” and “too militaristic” because they have no idea what it is like to be surrounded by implacable enemies on all sides who would like to obliterate the Jewish state.
We, in America have the luxury of being surrounded by our two liquid assets, the Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Pacific Ocean on the West, and with the friendly neighbors on Canada on the north and Mexico on the south. I feel that this movie provides a very important tool for EMET’s mission. Unlike the brave young men and women we saw on the film, we, in the United States, cannot don the uniform of the I.D.F. but we can help to fight the battle of ideas.” Sarah Stern Founding Director of EMET
Even though we are physically thousands of miles away from the Jewish Homeland we hold her close to our hearts.
Providing opportunities such as viewing Beneath the Helmet on Capitol Hill and other venues allows us to bring people who care about Israel closer to her and foster a true sense of connection. We look forward to continuing to strengthen ties between Israel and those who support her through relevant and diverse programming such as this most meaningful event.
Heidi Krizer Daroff enjoys sharing her passion for Israel with others as North America Director of The Israel Forever Foundation. While her passport indicates that she does not reside in Israel, her heart definitely does. Through her storytelling, Heidi invites you to grow your involvement and add more Israel Forever into your daily life.