African-American Israel-Advocate Creates, Stars in New Clip ‘Branding Jewish State in Emotionally Captivating Way’ (INTERVIEW)
Humanizing Israel makes starting a conversation about its complex issues easier, a rising-star advocate for the Jewish state told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Chloé Valdary, the recently appointed spokesperson and director of partnerships and outreach for the NGO Jerusalem U, was explaining the impetus behind a new video clip she released, which emphasizes the beautiful intricate fabric of Israeli society.
Valdary, an African-American from New Orleans with a soft spot for Judaism and its rituals, said that for a long time she has “wanted to brand Israel in a more emotionally captivating, visually stimulating way.”
“I was perplexed by the same redundant, often overly academic, content we see being produced and shared on social media, and felt the lack of the universal language of storytelling,” she told The Algemeiner. “So I approached Jerusalem U a while ago, and it was gracious enough to give me creative space in which to develop something cool.”
Valdary, whose pro-Israel activism was first noticed when she was a student of international relations at the University of New Orleans, said that after receiving the green light, she wrote the script for the Jerusalem U-produced clip – called “Forever: an ode to the People of Israel” — which she developed with cinematographer Micah Smith.
“We really wanted to capture the duality of Israel — the ancient and the modern, the past and the present — to show how tradition and culture animate 21st-century life in the country,” she said. “This is the difference between political and pop culture, which is defined by the everyday experiences we have — the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the sports we watch — and leads to connectivity.”
Highlighting this side of the Jewish state, she said, “is the first step to getting people to care about Israelis, with whom they have to be able to connect on a human level.”
Valdary, among The Algemeiner’s “Jewish 100” figures honored this year, will be delivering the closing address at the Jewish National Fund College Summit in New York on Sunday, where she will show the video.
Jerusalem U, which creates and distributes educational feature films, is on a self-described mission to “emotionally and intellectually connect young Jews to Israel, Judaism and the Jewish people.”
Watch Valdary’s video below: