This evening's Hillel event will lend students a view into the rich cultural diversity of the modern Israeli state. Cinematographer Yoav Kosh will visit campus for a screening and discussion of the Israeli film "Shiva," directed by an acclaimed Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz and her brother Shlomi Elkabetz.
"This film is in the midst of the Gulf War, when Iraq was shooting scud missiles into Israel," said Hillel member Adam Rasgon '13. "It's about a Moroccan, Jewish family in Israel that has a death in the family."
"Shiva is a seven-day period in which you sit in your house and mourn for the person that has passed away," said Rasgon, who helped arrange the event. "You're not allowed to leave because it's against Jewish customs."
The Bowdoin Hillel adviser Sherrie Bergman worked closely with Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College David Freidenreich for two and half months to bring Kosh to campus.
Kosh is a Schusterman Visiting Artist for the spring semester at Colby. He taught and produced films in Israel for over 25 years. His cinematographic work includes movies, television shows, drama series and documentaries.
Kosh is also a renowned filmmaker, having won many awards, including two honors for best cinematography from the Israeli Film Academy, which is the equivalent of the American Oscar Awards.
The film aims to provide a look into contemporary Israeli life, "to promote Israeli culture and allow people the opportunity to take an inside look at what the state of Israel is like," Rasgon said.
"It's such a unique culture that's kind of at the point where there are so many cultures and religions and philosophies and political ideologies clash with one another in this one nation," he said.
"When the average American sees Israel, they see it as a nation that has a lot of Jews within its population," said Rasgon. "They're often blinded about how diverse it really is—there are so many people that come from so many different backgrounds in Israel."
Hillel decided to bring Kosh to campus after students expressed interest in Israeli programming.
"A few students [in] the beginning of the year had contacted Hillel about starting Israeli programming from a cultural, religious, historical, political standpoint," said Rasgon.
Rasgon, like other members of Hillel, are excited and looking forward to Kosh's visit.
"It'll be a good opportunity not only see an Israeli film but have questions answered and meet one of the more well-known cinematographers in Israel," said Rasgon.
The Bowdoin Film Society and film studies department are also helping to sponsor the event.
The screening will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the Smith Auditorium in Sills Hall.
Both the film screening and discussion are free and open to the public.