What does it mean to live in a Jewish democracy? More specifically, what does it mean to navigate marriage in a religious democracy? That’s the question Amy Oppenheimer tries to answer in her new documentary Faces of Israel: A Discussion about Marriage, State and Religion in the Jewish Homeland. Check out the website to learn more – you can also watch the trailer. This is an important topic, and we would love to hear from anyone who has either seen the film or is planning to.
Oppenheimer, a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University where she pursued a degree in International Relations and Jewish Studies, has created a documentary that tries to look “what it means to live in both a Jewish and democratic state, and offers a variety of answers to these questions through the lens of the Israeli marriage process.” The documentary aims for balance, interviewing everyone from ordinary citizens to rabbinic leaders who put forth their point of view.
The documentary is especially relevant these days because of the recent dust-up over Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman’s call to allow civil unions. As it stands, a marriage under the auspices of the Rabbinate is allowed, forcing many couples to travel abroad to get married. This topic is covered in the documentary, along with the role of the Rabbinate in general, questions of inclusivity, same-sex unions, and a host of others.
There is a schedule of upcoming screenings posted on the movie’s website, or you can contact the director and have the film screened in your community. Either way, we hope many folks get a chance to see the movie and become a part of this debate.