Addressing contemporary Jewish concerns through a classical Sephardi and Mizrahi lens, JIMENA launched Distinctions: A Sephardi and Mizrahi Journal. The online quarterly publication offers fresh and impactful content that elevates the perspectives and raises the profile of Sephardi and Mizrahi people and communities. The Summer 2023 issue focuses on the topic of antisemitism.
Articles include a Special Introduction by Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, as well as a featured story by Sharon Nazarian, who has worked on international affairs as a senior vice president for the Anti-Defamation League.
Other authors include Rena Nasar First from Stand With Us, Regina Sassoon Friedland from American Jewish Committee, and journalists Tabby Refael and Rachel Benaim-Abudarham. A visual exhibit, “The Farhud, My Father, and Me,” shares paintings from Nessim Zalayet, who lived through a deadly pogrom in Iraq. His daughter, Irit Dallal Zalayet, offers written reflections on her father’s art and how she discovered the missing fourth painting in his series.
“Sephardi and Mizrahi women hold many influential leadership positions within the Jewish communal professional workforce, so we decided to devote this inaugural issue of Distinctions to them by elevating the voices of several outstanding women who are fighting antisemitism,” said Sarah Levin, executive director of JIMENA, in her publisher’s note.
Each issue of Distinctions will be framed around a theme of communal interest to Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.
“Distinctions is designed to push our community forward, to uncover people and perspectives on issues that for too long have been ignored,” said Ty Alhadeff, JIMENA’s director of education and director of JIMENA’s Sephardic Leadership Institute. “JIMENA believes that to genuinely change internal Jewish narratives and attitudes — and to become more inclusive and respectful of Sephardi and Mizrahi people and communities — we need this new platform.”
Distinctions’ editorial advisors are: Ada Aharoni, Founder and President, The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace; Rabbi Daniel Bouskila, Director, Sephardic Educational Center; Meir Buzaglo, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Eliezer Papo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Hebrew Literature, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Sarah Sassoon, Poet, Essayist and Children’s Book Author; and Ophir Toubul, Activist and Founder of the Tor HaZahav Movement.
The journal’s editorial team includes: Sarah Levin and Ty Alhadeff of JIMENA; Stuart Eskenazi, editor; and Neomi Assiabanha-Rapoport, art director; and Yehuda Rapoport, website developer.
Distinctions is generously supported by the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF).