March 7, 2013
(JTA) – A San Francisco-based organization has launched 11 websites to tell the stories of Jews who left Arab countries last century.
JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa this week launched the websites in English and Arabic to tell the stories of Jews who left nine Arab countries, Turkey and Iran. The websites tell each country’s story using videos, photographs and written narratives. They also include oral history testimonies of Jews who fled Arab countries for North America.
“Having the websites in Arabic will enable us to reach individuals in Arabic-speaking countries who otherwise may know very little of the Jewish history of the region,” Sarah Levin, director of JIMENA, said in a statement.
She credited efforts to document and share testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other victims of human rights abuse, including the USC Shoah Foundation institute, founded by Steven Spielberg, as the inspiration for the JIMENA websites.
JIMENA was founded by Regina Waldman and Joe Wahad, a Jewish woman born in Libya and a Jewish man born in Egypt, after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.