(Scroll down for video) The Jews living in Judea and Samaria and other settlements are seen as heroes by many Jewish people. These settlers are there to protect the Jewish land given to them by god. The media often refers to Judea and Samaria as the West Bank, while trying to paint these settlers as violent people.
Yet this is far from the truth, with one visit to the settlements you see the peace, unity and love that exists in these settlements. One man decided to change the view of the Jews about Judea and Samaria by recording a documentary about Jewish life in a settlement.
Ezra Ridgley visited Israel for the first time 10 years ago and was deeply moved by the dedication and commitment of Jews settling in these communities.
Previously, I had seen Israel "as a nation still struggling with dealing with the Arabs and still not as modern as the West. That changed immediately after my first visit.” Ridgley said: “I started traveling through dozens of cities and towns across the country and I was pleasantly surprised at how modern and beautiful Israeli cities are. This was the Israel I was never told about.”
Ridgley decided it was crucial to let others know what was really going on in the Jewish settlements. He took many photographs, did interviews and started a website. After returning many times and having visited over 100 settlements he wrote a book: Judea and Samaria - The land of God.
The book documents the optimism of Jewish settlements and how Jews are returning to the land that was written about in the Bible. It also proves that the West Bank land belong to the Jews historically, legally, religiously and morally.
One of his objectives is to combat negative stereotypes about people living in the settlements. “I found the people to be interesting, cultured and refined, not extreme or violent, as we hear in the media," he said.
Now Ridgley has taken the many hours of video recordings and made it into a 90-minute documentary called: “The Spring of Judea and Samaria." He hopes his documentary reaches many Jews so they can become educated on the truth about Israeli settlements. They will get a firsthand look into the life of Jews in these settlements.
All proceeds will go to Bnei Chayil Yeshiva Kedumim in the Samaria region and Girls High School in
Kochov Tzvia Ya'akov of the Binyamin region. Both schools help children who are struggling with emotional and/or learning problems.
"My goal with the book and the video is to create a new awakening to the land that is central to our identity and Jewish heritage. When we can all see the clearer picture, the Jewish world will focus more attention and realize that settling in this land is essential for our future and continued existence as a people.” Ridgley said.