New film to host a major world premier in Tidewater

by | Oct 20, 2014 | What’s Happening

Thursday, Nov. 20, 7 pm, Regent University Theater

by Robin Mancoll

With fresh memories of this past summer’s Operation Protective Edge and the young adults who were casualties of war while defending the State of Israel, the IDF soldiers are back in the spotlight. The risk that these young people take during Israel’s compulsory service in the IDF beginning at age 18, is again in the forefront of the minds of not only Israeli parents, but of all parents.

Following a two-year production, the new full-length documentary, Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front, will premier worldwide beginning December 2014. Tidewater will be one of the few communities to offer the film prior to that date, joining Jerusalem, New York and Los Angeles with November screenings.

Kevin Lefcoe, Community Relations Council’s Outreach chair says, “As we look for reasons to partner in the community, the work of Jerusalem U and their latest film, Beneath the Helmet, offered another opportunity for us to collaborate with staunch Israel supporters at the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University.

“When mentioning the opportunity to the dean of the School of Communications at Regent University, Mitch Land, he jumped at the chance to host the premier in their theater and gathered a group of leaders from all corners of the CBN campus to ensure the event would be a success.” Regent’s theater offers stateof- the-art visuals and sound for this free event. RSVP is required to attend.

Beneath the Helmet is a film from Jerusalem U, the creators of the PBS featured documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference. This coming-of-age story highlights the dramatic transformation of five young Israeli high-school graduates who left their homes and families to become the defenders of a nation and a people. Revealing what young Israelis go through as they train to become IDF soldiers, the lessons and shared values they learn along the way will be appreciated, understood and internalized by the film’s audience. The filmmakers were offered exceptional access into the lives of these young people, which allowed them to bring to the screen rarely seen intimate profiles of IDF soldiers.

Following the eight-month basic training of the five teenage stars of the film who enlisted in the paratroopers, Ethiopian immigrant Private Mekonan, lone soldier Private Oren, Private Elon, Sergeant Coral and Commander Eden will make young adults everywhere step back and evaluate their own identity including answering, to what lengths would they take to defend their own homeland? Living in a country surrounded by enemies, these young soldiers know that the outlook, attitudes and experiences that they share will impact the rest of their lives.

Jerusalem U is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 by Rabbi Raphael Shore, that creates films, film-based classes and courses to transform Jewish and Israel education. Shore’s goals with this film are to nurture a greater sense of pride based on a deeper understanding for the Jewish people and its values and to foster the relationship with non-Jews as the country’s humanity and shared values are revealed in the film.

Rabbi Shore will discuss the making of the film and why it became an important production at the Nov. 20 event.

The CRC will offer free screenings followed by a facilitated discussion of Beneath the Helmet over the course of the next year in local synagogues, schools, churches, civic organizations and more. To host an event, or for more information, contact Robin Mancoll, director of the Community Relations Council at

Watch a trailer at

To RSVP (required by Nov. 19) for Tidewater’s premier of the film, Beneath the Helmet, email or call 965-6107.