Israel hit international headlines in 2012 with controversial stories of intolerance and religious radicalism. In the center of these stories was the small town of Beit Shemesh. In response, a series of tolerance building projects were launched in the city in an effort to support and strengthen the voices of mutual respect.
Shira, Habonim Dror and Melbourne Moishe House were proud to be the first communities in Australia to screen Wonderful Women (Nashim Nehedarot) on Tisha B’Av 2014. First screened in Israel on Tisha Be’Av 2013, the documentary was produced by filmmaker Hila Timor Ashur. She co-founded the initiative “Wonderful Women” together with her friend Chaya Josovic. Hila is a secular woman from Mateh Yehuda and Chaya is a Haredi woman from Beit Shemesh. They decided to create an initiative to bring women together from Haredi and Secular backgrounds, to get to know each other and break down stereotypes by creating films together.
This project is sponsored by Partnership2Gether of the Jewish Agency – Beit Shemesh – Mateh Yehuda – South Africa – Washington DC.
After the screening on the film, Hila spoke with the community via skype, sharing some moving stories of increasinging solidarity between Haredi and Non-Haredi Israelis in Beit Shemesh during Operation Protective Edge.