JIMENA’s Arabic Outreach Initiative began in 2012 as a project to provide an educational, multi-lingual, on-line digital platform to present the history, culture, and personal stories of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East through 11 country specific websites and social media platforms. The project has so far operated utilizing web-based social media platforms and technologies to share content and to provide a space for learning and constructive discussion amongst Arabic speaking individuals. Each day the project educates and engages an average of 50,000 individuals in North Africa and the Middle East through various digital platforms.
The project’s overarching goals are to challenge anti-Semitism in the Arab world and to promote normalization with Israel and global Jewry. The story of the region’s indigenous Jews, when told compellingly, supports these two goals in four important ways. First, it boosts affinity for Jews by highlighting a commonality of culture and language. Second, it counters the claim that Israel and Israelis are aberrant to the region. Third, by extension, it highlights Israel’s “authenticity” as a component of its legitimacy. Fourth, it responds to the use of the Palestinian refugee issue to delegitimize Israel by highlighting the larger number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands and their substantially greater material losses. This information, in turn, provides the basis for a more honest and constructive discussion between Arabs and Israelis.
Check out JIMENA’s Arabic Facebook Page
Check out JIMENA’s Arabic Website