Last night I spoke at the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, Manhasset, Long Island, where the crowd was especially interested in participating, arguing, and offering insights. our subject was Arabs and Jews - Understanding Each Other, and we seemed to focus on the role of women in making a difference in the current "situation".
In addition to other films, we looked at clips from Lemon Tree (directed by Eran Riklis) in which the Jewish and Palestinian women reach out to each other but are stifled by "security considerations" and at clips from Divine Intervention (directed by Elia Suleiman)in which the woman seems to be the voice of criticism, self-confidence, determination and victory.
We also looked at the short film, Bus Station (directed by Lily Sheffy, from the Ir Amim collection entitled Jerusalem Moments. The film portrays an extraordinary encounter between two ultra-religious Jerusalem women, one Jewish and one Muslim.
On the human level of personal encounter, these filmmakers are telling us that women have a unique role to reach out and make a difference.