Spotted in Jewish DC – (Israeli) Woman Power

by Rachel Gildiner / June 21, 2017

Israeli women are on my mind. Maybe it’s because of all of the recent hype of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. But regardless of the reason, I seemed to find Israeli women in pop culture wherever I turned this weekend. Here are two specific run-ins…

On my way into the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, planning to see another screening of Wonder Woman (yes, twice – it is amazing), a poster with Hebrew writing caught my eye. Fortunately for this non-Hebrew-speaking Jew, it was also translated. It was called The Women’s Balcony, and it’s playing in Bethesda and at Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market only through this Thursday, June 22nd.

This adorable film is about how the women of a small Israeli synagogue lead a resistance against a young new rabbi and his belief that women’s religious needs should come after all others. It’s a commentary on the dangers of religious figures who push an agenda, about how we think about bettering ourselves, and, at the end of the day, what we ultimately decide to stand for. It was super-empowering in an unexpected way, and also provided some nice eye candy of the streets of Jerusalem.

My other run-in with (Israeli) woman power was at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I was there for non-art reasons (a friend had bought me a change purse from their gift shop that said “Bitches get stuff done,” and I wanted to get one for a friend) but ended up spending a lot of time in their permanent collection. All the way on the back wall of the 3rd floor, in front of the restrooms, I stumbled across a glowing message in neon lights that read “What if Women Ruled the World”. At that moment, I might as well have been wearing those golden wrist cuffs that possess demi-deity powers. Only after walking closer and reading the description did I learn it was an installation piece created by Yael Bartana of Israel.

So, if you’re looking for a little female power or Israeli influence in your life this week (and just can’t bring yourself to go see Wonder Woman for the fifth time), check out The Women’s Balcony and the National Museum of Women in the Arts to get your fix!

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