As the media was covering President Obama’s visit to Israel on March 20, a group of community members gathered that night at Temple Emanuel in Virginia Beach to discuss the role the media plays in shaping negative opinions about Israel.
The synagogue hosted the third event in the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Step Up for Israel Film and discussion series.
Temple Emanuel’s Rabbi David Barnett led the 60 guests in a sometimes heated dialogue following the showing of the films Shared Values and Israel and the Media. Topics highlighted in the films included Israel as a democratic nation that epitomizes Western values, the examination of journalistic bias when it comes to media stories about Israel, and the examination of real and perceived threats to journalists who criticize Israel’s enemies.
“Both of these films are very interesting and very provocative,” says Barnett. “I am delighted to see so many people passionate about these subjects, and we must all realize that we can never underestimate the force and value and the effect that even a single person can have.”
The next film in the CRC series is on April 11 at 7 pm at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk. The final film will be held on May 1, at 7 pm at Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. Rabbis of the host congregations lead the group discussions.
To find out more about the Step Up for Israel series and other upcoming CRC events, visit www.jewishva.org/crc. To see more photos of this event, visit and “Like” JewishNewsVa on Facebook.
by Laine M. Rutherford