By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Monday, June 4, 2012
June 3rd newsletter of JIMENA: Jews indigenous to Middle East & North Africa
Monday June 3rd, 2012
Sivan 14, 5772
JIMENA's June Calendar of Events
Last Jews of Yemen Photo Exhibit
Photo by Rachael Strecher
Oshman Family JCC
Schultz Cultural Arts Hall Lobby
On display until June 28th
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Compelled by the opportunity to document the last indigenous Jewish community of the Middle East before it vanishes, journalists Rachael Strecher and Josh Berer spent three months living in Sana, Yemen in 2009.
The result is a unique collection of photos and journal entries documenting an ancient Jewish community on the brink of exodus as a result of political upheavals, cultural isolation and violent anti-Semitism.
You are invited to watch an abridged version of the Forgotten Refugees film, and to hear the personal testimony of Mr. Joe Shamash. Joe fled Iraq with his brothers and sisters in the late 1950's, leaving behind a 2,000 Jewish community. Arriving in New York, Joe and his five siblings assimilated without the help of their parents, who remained stuck in Iraq by the authorities.
This presentation is part of an adult day-time learning program and requires an RSVP
To RSVP, please email Shiva Shultz, Adults Program Manager at JCCSF
Israel in the Gardens
Yerba Buena Gardens San Francisco
Sunday, June 10th
75 Howard Street
The Israel Center of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco is proud to bring you the largest annual Jewish community event in Northern California! This year organizers are excited to welcome Balkan Beat Box as headliners. Other performers include Efrat Gosh and the Peatoto, The Voca People, Sol Teva, and the UC Berkeley Marching Band.
JIMENA IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS TO HELP MAN OUR BOOTH
For more information on the festival please click here.
Harissa, Honey and Hyssop Exhibit Opening
Osher Marin JCC
Monday, June 11th
Israeli photographer Nelli Sheffer captures and contextualizes the beautiful-and very local-food of Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in this exhibit. Sheffer, who specializes in culinary photography and cookbook illustrations, has published two books on international food with art publisher Harry N. Abrams and contributed to more than 70 others.
Come early and attend the Osher Marin JCC Annual Meeting
We are delighted to announce that JIMENA recently took over rights to the Forgotten Refugees film from our friends at the David Project. Through personal stories, archival footage, historic images, and scholarly analyses, the film explores the history and destruction of indigenous Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa. JIMENA Speakers use the film as an exemplary educational tool which has impacted thousands of students and adults around the world with a lesser-known narrative of Middle Eastern history.
We are currently raising money to have JIMENA Speakers screen the film and present their personal stories in over 50 major North American Universities in 2013. If you are interested in supporting this campaign, purchasing a copy of the film, or organzing a screening and presentation in your community, please donate or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JIMENA Panel Discussion On Religious Persecution A Huge Success
Watch JIMENA Panel Discussion with Raymond Ibrahim. Part 1
JIMENA's Panel Discussion with Shillman Fellow; Raymond Ibrahim, Iranian Advocate; Elliot Benjamin, and Pulitzer-Prize winner; Joel Brinkley was a standing-room only success. The program highlighted the current challenges facing religious minorities in Egypt and Iran. Front Page Magazine and firstpost.com have shared video footage of the event and the feedback has been tremendous.
We would like to extend a spacial thank you to event committee members and hosts Eric Benhamou, Doris & Richard Davis, Francine Gani, Barbara & Ron Kaufman, Susan & Moses Libitsky, and Varda & Irving Rabin for supporting this phenomenal program. If you would like to have a similar JIMENA presentation in your community, please be in touch.
JIMENA Seeking Testimonials
How Has JIMENA Impacted You?
JIMENA's diverse on-campus programs are effectively changing the discourse and approach student leaders use in advocating for Israel. Though ongoing evaluations we have learned that incorporating the Sephardic and Mizrahi refugee experience into the European Jewish narrative strengthens our advocacy for Israel and enriches and unifies our community and college students. JIMENA is committed to continue it's education of who the indigenous Middle Eastern people are, and we need your help. If you are a student or adult who has been impacted by the JIMENA narrative, please send us a written or recorded testimony. We will be featuring your testimony in future newsletters.
UC Berkeley Student Testimonial, 2012
JIMENA Planning Fall Speakers Training Series
We are looking forward to launching a nation-wide Speakers Training Series this fall. If you are interested in educating and empowering student and adult audiences with your personal or familial story of Jewish life and exodus from the Middle East and North Africa, we encourage you to participate. Currently JIMENA's Speakers Bureau is composed of 30 trained volunteer speakers.
We are looking for volunteers and donors to help support this program. If you are interested in getting involved please email email@example.com
"Members of the JIMENA Speakers Bureau tell a remarkable story that needs to be told and retold. The plight of Palestinian refugees is a tragic story that has been seared into the minds of every student in the world. Why then, has the history of nearly one million Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands disappeared so quickly from our collective conscience? JIMENA's message and the re-telling of their speakers personal histories, make the forgotten story of Jewish refugees from Arab countries come alive. Their message is helping to balance the inaccurate adopted history of the Middle East, which only recognizes the plight of the Palestinians and fails to tell the story of oppression and displacement of Jews from Arab lands. In order to have peace and reconciliation between Arabs and Jews, the issue of the Jewish refugees has to also be addressed. "
- Aaron Tartakovsky, Tufts Undergrad Student
In Other News.....
A Different History of Displacement and Loss
By Matti Friedman
The Times of Israel
May 15th, 2012
On May 15, many in the Arab world and elsewhere mark the Nakba, or the "Catastrophe," mourning the displacement of the Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 war with Israel. This year, as always, the commemoration will obscure the collapse at the same time of a different Arab society that few remember... Read More
David Littman, 78, Head of Operation Mural
By Chana Ya'ar
Israel National News
May 21st, 2012
British-born historian and human rights activist David Littman, 78, passed away Sunday in his hometown of Gland, Switzerland. Littman posed as a Chrisitian in 1961 to rescue 530 Moroccan Jewish children during a time when Jews were not freely allowed to leave.....Read More
Where's the Outrage?
By Sarah Levin
photo by Rachael Strecher
May 31st, 2012
As I was hanging photos for JIMENA's "The Last Jews of Yemen" exhibit on a recent Friday aft the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, I once again marveled at the choice of this 2,000-year-old Jewish community to stay put in a violence and lawless country...Read More
My Mom's American Liberation
By Lucette Lagnado
Wall Street Journal
May 11st, 2012
Defying centuries of deeply ingrained traditions about a woman's place took more courage than the speeches and epithets mouthed by generations of feminists.
No one who knew my mother Edith ever thought of her as an icon of American feminism. Yet with the passage of years I have become convinced that thi sis exactly what she was, though she never attended a protest or held a placard... Read More