ASHKELON, ISRAEL — YAD B’YAD, the story of the first Israel Girls National Lacrosse Team, will be released the weekend of April 7-9 with screenings in Israel and New York.
The documentary, which is approximately 20 minutes in length, was filmed, produced and edited by Hannah Epstein, who played collegiate lacrosse at Middlebury College before joining the Israel Women’s National Team. Epstein, who works seasonally for NFL Films and spends half the year in Israel, followed with her camera as the first-ever Israel U-19 Women’s National Team was built.
The film follows the group of mostly 15 and 16-year-old girls from the small coastal city of Ashkelon, located just a few miles away from the Gaza Strip, as they learn and fall in love with the sport while forging new friendships.
Epstein and her lens track the team of young women — many of whom have never previously been on an airplane — as they prepare and ultimately compete at the FIL U-19 Women’s World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland. The journey includes wide and diverse adversaries, ranging from an intimidating gang of anti-Israel protesters off the field, to the #1-ranked United States on it.
The title of the documentary, YAD B’YAD, translates in English to “hand-in-hand”; which is how Baltimore-native Hannah Deoul, her young and enthusiastic coaching staff, and the girls themselves approached their challenges.
The film will premier on Thursday, April 7th, at Israel Lacrosse headquarters (No’a 13, Ashkelon, Israel) at 7:00 PM. Guests are welcome to join and watch alongside the Israel National Team players.
The first US screening will be held on Friday, April 8th, at Local West (1 Penn Plaza, corner of 33rd St/8th Ave) at 6:30 PM. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5:30 PM and a short program featuring Epstein, Deoul, and national team player Shirel Fresh will precede the screening. Families are welcome.
The final screening will be held at the home of Alex Tepper (200 East End Ave.) at 9:30 PM following the games held at Asphalt Green on Saturday evening.
All three screenings are free and open to the public.