ADL Regional Director Betsy Kellman, filmmaker Ari Sandel, ADL Regional Development Director
Sharone Bigelman and ADL Regional Assistants Directors Emily Eisenberg and Carrie Waggoner
Brad and Judi Schram of West Bloomfield
Behind The Scenes
ADL supporters attend film screening with award-winning director.
Norman and Judy Sommers of
Terry and JoAnne Nosan of West
Burt and Suzanne Shifman of West
David and Vicky Buckfire of Farmington
e took a creative
risk, co-writing and
directing the satiri-
cal short film West Bank Story,
a musical comedy in which
an Israeli soldier falls in love
with a Palestinian cashier. But
that risk paid off for Academy
Award winning writer, direc-
tor and producer Ari Sandel.
More than 150 supporters of
the Anti-Defamation League
got the unique opportunity to screen the
acclaimed film with Sandel May 30th at
the Birmingham Community House and
hear from him about what went on behind
"He talked about how he got the fund-
ing together and how he traveled to differ-
ent areas around the Middle East showing
the film to try and bring people together:'
said Betsy Kellman of Huntington
Woods, executive director of the ADL
Michigan Region. "Through this film, he
really did open dialogue for people."
Major donors, who contributed $1,000
or more to the local ADL chapter, met one-
on-one with Sandel over cocktails and hors
d'oeuvres during a special pre-glow recep-
tion. Then, the group watched the film — a
tale of forbidden love between the soldier
and cashier whose families
own competing falafel stands.
Afterwards, Sandel shared his
insights with the crowd.
"I wanted to make a film that
would get attention and also
make people laugh:' Sandel is
quoted as saying on the film's
Web site. "I also wanted to make
a movie that was pro-peace and
offered a message of hope!'
West Bank Story has been
screened at more than 100 film festivals
worldwide. Sandel even took it to places like
Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories.
"He's one of these incredibly charm-
ing, disarming people who people really
listen to:' Kellman said. "He told us, 'I'm
not trying to achieve peace in the Middle
East; I'm trying to talk to people one at a
time.' He really has turned a lot of skep-
tics into listeners!'
Spotted in the crowd were: Susan
and Sanford Birnholtz, Mickey and
Jonathan Firsht, and Jo-Anne and Terry
Nosan, all of West Bloomfield; Vicky and
David Buckfire of Farmington Hills;
Fran and David Linden of Birmingham;
and Dale and Bruce Frankel, Bluma and
Robert Schecter and Elaine and Stephen
Sturman, all of Bloomfield Hills. II