The people of Rehovot who were extraordinarily welcoming in my efforts. Despite my intrusive camera, they often held back their suspicions allowing me to film uninterrupted. Even the mayor of this city, Joshua Forer, Esq., put aside time for an on-camera interview. The city became the hub for just about everything enabling easy access to the cities and hospitals throughout the country. Public transportation was our major means of commuting and in Rehovot access was a breeze.
The many doctors, nurses and staffs of the hospitals: Alyn in Jerusalem, Dana Hospital in Tel Aviv and The Edmond and Lily Safra Children hospital at the Sheba Medical Center. Their support and cooperation were immeasurable. From the pediatric ICU’s to Oncology and private rooms, I was able to interview and photograph kids in various stages of treatment. To witness, first hand, a young patient immediately after brain surgery smile as Magic Michael entered the room is a remarkable experience that I was fortunate to capture on camera. The many patients and their international families who agreed to speak in front of my lens. Having a son or daughter in the hospital is hard enough yet so many parents were so generous with their time.
David Stein and the synagogue of Beit Chatam. I had very frank discussion with this well respected Rabbi who detailed the struggle. We spoke at length about the Jewish perspective, and his opinion on radicalism and how it affects the future of not only Israel, but also the world. My friends, family, mentors, peers and associates all over the world that have generously supported the making of this documentary. It is through their emotional assistance and encouragements that much of this endeavor has been made possible.
And lastly, please keep in mind, that even though I discovered that children smile the same way all over the world, so too do adults. Be it Magic Michael, adorned in his funny colorful cap and matching vest or, Michael Tulkoff, breadwinner/religious Jew/husband/father with his velvet kepaw perched atop his head, both are able to turn the seriousness of Israel daily routine and the ones that keep it safe and secure into a smile. There’s a lot to be said by the power of a balloon animal and even more when it comes from Magic Michael Tulkoff. How he does it is as simple as it is illusory.