Thursday, March 12, 2015

YBA Alumna Profile: Neta Ariel, Woman of the Year

Neta Ariel (Kolnoa)
Neta Ariel,  Director of the Ma'aleh Film school and a graduate of Ulpanat Bnei Akiva (UBA) Segula in Kiryat Motzkin, was recently chosen as the 'Woman of the Year' by the Emunah Womens' Organization in Israel. Ma'aleh is the only film school in the world that trains filmmakers from the standpoint of Jewish tradition. The school's graduates have won numerous artistic and technical accolades, both in Israel and abroad.

After completing her IDF service in the framework of a "Garin Nachal" at Kibbutz Yavne, Neta went on to receive a BA in political science and theater studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She also studied Communications at Hebrew University and Directing and Producing through the Open University.

Neta began her career as an investigative reporter for the Israel Broadcast Authority Channel 1 News. Later, she founded, edited and wrote for the "Gushpanka" regional journal of Gush Etzion, and wrote and published a children's book: The Gift Child (Yediot Ahronot).

At the award ceremony held on International Women's Day (March 1), Emunah's chairwoman, Leora Minka, said of Neta, "You are a ground breaker. For a long time religious Zionists were under-represented in the arts and culture in Israel. But thanks to your work at Ma'aleh, all that is changing. We are seeing the fruits of your labor in the television and film productions by Ma'aleh graduates. We now see that it is possible to take an active creative role in the cultural life of Israel and still remain true to our Torah values."

Neta Ariel started working at Ma'aleh in 1995 as assistant director and academic director, and has been serving as Ma'aleh's director since 2001. 

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