The Mach Hach BaAretz summer program is one of the largest of its kind, with over 250 participants every summer. It’s a well-established institution that knows what it’s about and has a good understanding of its clientele: Whether campers come up through Bnei Akiva or find themselves newly involved, they choose Mach Hach because its reputation for an authentically “living Israel” experience is unmatched anywhere else.
Mach Hach BaAretz is a program for outgoing tenth graders only, which means that every year, it must attract a brand new crop of attendees. By creating a fresh video regularly, the program is able to include campers from recent years, who are often familiar faces from the same schools and communities as the prospects now coming of age.
When Dan Katz, the director of Mach Hach BaAretz, brought us on to create the program’s summer video, he already had all this in mind — and as a result, he had a good sense of what he was looking for. It was our job to interpret his ideas and use our expertise to translate them to a well-made film.
What Dan wanted was an Identity Film that would capture the story of the summer, bringing to life the profound encounter between heartfelt Zionist ideals and an extended stay in the Holy Land.
In order to create this film, we coordinated with the Mach Hach office to prioritize events and plan visuals. With the whole summer itinerary to work with, we wanted to make sure we captured the rich, deeply personal nature of different campers’ Israel experiences, including Adventure Week: Culturefest, Chessed, Army, Yam L’yam and Negev.
The film also covered the diversity and energy found in such a large group, as well as the lasting closeness that grew among the campers, who made friends from all across North America.
“You had an understanding of who we are,” Dan told us in response to the film, “and you portrayed that.” This was a confirmation and recognition of the work we put into following Dan’s lead and delivering his message. He also commented on the good communication between our teams, which was essential to pulling off a project of this nature and size.
The video did its job and maintained Mach Hach’s target recruitment numbers, helping to give yet another generation of kids this once-in-a-lifetime experience.