Dear Friends and Members,
These troubling times invite all of us to explore unique and age-old ways to find community, connectivity, joy, and calmness. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area where JIMENA is headquartered, our staff, board, volunteers and community partners have been ordered to “shelter-in-place” at our homes. This has provided us with a unique opportunity to connect closely with family and loved-ones and find innovative ways to stay in community with our friends and partners. As all of JIMENA’s upcoming face-to-face events have been cancelled we are excited to announce many opportunities for online learning and engagement. We look forward to offering an ongoing array of discussions, lectures, book-talks, classes and meetings with top rabbis, thought-leaders, educators, writers, and community partners in our field.
For the time being, we plan to utilize Zoom as the primary video-conferencing tool for online gatherings and we encourage you to click here for a quick tutorial. Online offerings will be added to JIMENA’s website and Facebook page weekly so please check back often. We are also offering unique opportunities to connect in a more personal way. These programs include:
JIMENA Buddy System: As so many of us are alone with limited opportunities for social interaction, this is a chance to be paired with another JIMENA member for weekly check-ins via facetime, zoom, or just the good old phone. We are specifically interested in pairing older members of our community with a buddy to talk to, problem-solve with, and check-in with. If you or a loved one are in need of phone-support during this time or if you’d simply like to be a JIMENA Buddy – please fill out this very quick survey. We are seeking French, Hebrew, Spanish, and English- speaking individuals.
JIMENA Together Sessions: We will be hosting weekly meetings for our members to simply connect and share. Each individual will be given a couple minutes to talk about whatever is on their mind and then the opportunity to discuss current realities. We will be offering separate decompression sessions on Zoom for young adults and for the older members of our community. Please fill out this very quick form to join.
May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.
Upcoming Online Events:
- Thu, Dec 17, 2020 3:00 PM PT | 6PM ET Chag Habanot: A North African Chanukah Celebration of Women Chag Habanot is a holiday celebrated by Mizrahi communities on Rosh Chodesh of the Jewish month of Tevet. The festival takes place on Chanukah, which according to various traditions the miracle occurred there by a woman. During the festival, we honor the story of the Jewish heroine Judith and the important role of women in Jewish life. It is customary to sing, dance, and light the night’s menorah candle in honor of women. We will celebrate with Lala Tamar, a world-renowned Israeli singer, that will be streaming concert from Morocco accompanied by local female musicians, Hind Ennaira. And Jackie Barzvi will be leading us in celebratory dance to Jewish Mororocan music, where anyone can follow along without any previous dance experience.
- Monday, November 30h, 2020 12:00 PM PT | 3 PM ET – The Untold Story of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands and Iran. Join us for a special commemoration event, the Untold Stories of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands and Iran on November 30th at 12 PM PST! Featuring a panel discussion with Sharon Nazarian, Abraham Sofaer, and David Suissa. Special musical performance from the internationally acclaimed artist, Tair Haim from A-WA!
RSVP Here: https://bit.ly/3peyhws
- Monday, November 30th, 4:00 pm PT | 7 pm ET Leaving, never to return with Dana Avrish Join us for an online event, dedicated to November 30th the official Israeli commemoration day, marking the departure and expulsion of Jews from the Arab countries and Iran.Dana Avrish, will present the special exhibition she curated at the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv. This exhibition featured selected artifacts from the cultures of 11 Jewish communities in the Muslim sphere. Avrish invites viewers to share the journey that brought these communities to Israel.
RSVP Here: https://bit.ly/3fk6MNi
- Monday, November 30th 6:00 PM Israel, 8:00 AM PT, and 11:00 AM ET – Eretz Zion and Live Event From Jerusalem Live from Israel
Together with Jewish communities worldwide, we will celebrate the rich culture and history of Jews from Arab countries and Iran. Featuring: Eliad Nahum | Gila Bashari | Yuval Dayan | Liron Amram | Liraz Charhi | Nitai and Ilai Tzarfati | Subliminal | Amos Tamam | Amir Benayun | Shiri Maimon | Shlomit Buchnik | Sarit Hadad | Raphael Ohayon | Tamar Shauki | Shimi and Dorit Shauki and guest speakers from around the world!
RSVP HERE: https://www.30november2020.com/en
- On Monday, November 30th Spilling The Tea is an experiential Israel program designed to spotlight the history, stories, and experiences of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. During the program, StandWithUs students will host 30 minutes Instagram live videos called spilling the tea, where they will have the opportunity to interview JIMENA members of Sephardic or Mizrahi descent while enjoying tea preferred by the relevant community. Join us LIVE on Instagram on November 30th, with Justin Feldman member of JIMENA’s Young Professionals Board and Community Engagement Manager for the IAC college program, Mishelanu. Justin will share his family story from Morocco and Israel as well as explain how he uses social media to employ his Mizrahi voice.
- Monday, November 30th 10:00 am PT | 1:00 pm ET| 8:00 Israel time Transforming Trauma: How Jewish Voices from Arab Lands & Iran Can be a Bridge to Peace Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The vent will also be livestreamed on Facebook.
- MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 4:30 PM PT |7:30 pm ET Mizrahi Stories: Voices From Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq, and Dagestan.
RSVP HERE: https://bit.ly/3kKBqAN
- The Forgotten Refugees: Movie Screening and Talk with Carole Basri Join us on Thursday, November 11th, 10:40am PT| 1:40pm ET for a Movie Screening of The Forgotten Refugees, followed by a conversation with Iraqi Jewish leader and advocate Carole Basri. Carole is a lawyer of Iraqi Jewish descent and Author, Most of her productions focus on the History of the Jews in Iraq as she documents her ancestral roots and discusses Jewish traditions in Iraq.
RSVP here: https://bit.ly/2IrCpbq
- Friday, November 13th Francisco Moishe House Mizrahi Shabbat Dinner – Moishe House Silicon Valley and Moishe House Nob Hill – San Francisco have partnered with JIMENA to celebrate Mizrahi heritage with this young adult Shabbat. Hear stories of the past, learn about Mizrahi heritage, and take part in celebrating Mizrahim worldwide
RSVP Here: https://bit.ly/3kYDCWf
- Uncompromising: Yarden GerbiNovember 17th, 2020 5pm ET | 8pm PT Don’t miss this very special lecture by 2013 Israeli gold-winning Judo world-champion, 2016 bronze medalist, Mizrahi, and business entrepreneur, Yarden Gerbi!
- November 18th, 2020 8 pm PM ET | 5 pm PT Join Hillel International and JIMENA for an informative and timely panel on what it means to celebrate Mizrahi identity within the Jewish Community. We will be discussing important aspects of Mizrahi history, culture, and identity that help us elevate these important voices within the Jewish community.
RSVP HERE: https://bit.ly/32hvOaN
- October 28th Sephardi Women’s Songs with Judith Cohen Most of the Judeo-Spanish or Ladino Sephardi song repertoire was traditionally sung by women. This presentation will explore the main genres of these songs in the Sephardi cultures of the old Ottoman region (Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans) and the western Mediterranean, specifically Morocco. Romances (narrative ballads), songs for the Jewish calendar cycle, life cycle songs, songs about love, and topical songs—all had their integral place in daily life. Judith Cohen will discuss the women singing the songs, as well as the endlessly varied stories of the women portrayed in the songs, and will include both recorded and live musical examples.
RSVP here: https://forms.gle/qiBFePWpuH53qH7v8
- September 17th Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Seder
Join JIMENA and OneTable to ring in the new year with a Sephardic Rosh HaShana Seder! Get a taste of holiday traditions from Jewish communities across the Middle East and North Africa. Rabbi Tsipi Gabai, the world’s first Moroccan female rabbi, will lead us in blessings and singing sacred ancient Sephardic song cycles known as Piyyutim, with percussionist Katja Cooper. We’ll learn Sephardic and Mizrahi rituals for the High Holidays that you can recreate the next night at your Rosh HaShana Seder!
RSVP here: http://bit.ly/sephardicrosh
- 2 for Seder: In the Sukkah Fight Back Against Anti-Semitism with Love and a Safe Sukkah! 2 for Seder: In the Sukkah focuses on the traditional values associated with the Jewish holiday Sukkot, encouraging hospitality, transition, and gratefulness. Simply set up a Sukkah (or your version of the Sukkah) and invite 2 friends (in person or virtually) of another faith to share a COVID-safe meal. Start a dialogue! sharing a meal with a friend of another faith gives people a first-hand experience of Judaism, cutting through the noise of anti-Semitic tropes and news.
For more info: https://2forseder.org/in-the-sukkah/
- July 23, 2020 Arab Voices Revive a Lost Jewish Heritage: Meet JIMENA’s Arabic Program
In this special Zoom event you will meet members of JIMENA’s Arab fan base— live from Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya — who are working locally to spread awareness of their countries’ indigenous Jewish history and heritage. Through Arabic translation, they will describe their work, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future. . This event will be hosted by journalist Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer at Tablet magazine, and facilitated by Joseph Braude, President of the Center for Peace Communications and JIMENA’s Arabic Program Director.
RSVP HERE: https://bit.ly/jimenaarabicprogram
- July 14th Online Tour of the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot – Live! The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot and JIMENA invite you to join an innovative and groundbreaking online tour, led by a museum educator. In the online live sessions, groups from around the world are able to tour the museum in Tel Aviv from the comfort of a smartphone or computer. As part of this special program developed with JIMENA, we will explore the Jewish world, and participate in an interactive tour of our Hallelujah! Assemble, Pray, Study – Synagogues Past and Present along with an introduction and exploration of our renewing online museum databases, focusing on the stories of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa.
- June 26th, 2020 Persian Jewish Music and Pre-Kabbalat Shabbat with Galeet Dardashti Join us for a special Kabbalat Shabbat with Galeet Dardashti. We will explore the Judeo-Persian musical tradition through both recorded and live music examples (some of which you will learn!). This session is part of JIMENA’s Iranian Jewish Women’s Series
- June 28th, 2020 | Sunday – Join us for an engaging conversation about the current realities of global anti-Semitism with Dr. Sharon Nazarian. Together we will explore how recent events, are contributing towards the growth of anti-Semitic attitudes both nationally and internationally. We will learn how Dr. Nazarian’s background as an Iranian Jewish woman has influenced her work as a foreign policy expert and defender of the Jewish people at the Anti Defamation League. This session is part of JIMENA’s Iranian Jewish Women’s Series
- June 23th, 2020 From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran with Jacqueline Saper
Jacqueline will share with us her memories from Jewish life in Iran, her personal journey, and insights from her new book “From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran”. This session is part of JIMENA’s Iranian Jewish Women’s Series. Watch the event here.
- June 1st, 2020 | Monday – Remembering the Farhud with Joseph Samuels – Join us together with Iraqi Jews around the world as we honor the victims of the Farhud and hear the personal story of a survivor. Jos Samuels was born in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Baghdad and was 11 years old when the Farhud took place. In 1948, Joseph fled from Baghdad to Basra by train and was smuggled to Iran and then to Israel. In 1953 Joseph finished his service in the Israeli navy and pursued his dream of higher education in Montreal, Canada. Joe will share with us his memories of Iraq, the story of the Farhud, and insights from his new book “Beyond The Rivers of Babylon”. Watch the Farhud Commemoration by clicking here.
- Thursday, June 18th 11 AM PT – Justice for Jews from Arab Countries with Dr. Stanley Urman
With expert, Dr. Stanley Urman, we invite you to join us as we explore the history of efforts to pursue recognition, justice, and redress for former Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran. Where are we today and where are we going as we work to pursue policy and official recognition for the losses of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa? Dr. Stanley A. Urman is the Executive Vice-President of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, an international coalition seeking rights and redress for Jews displaced from Arab
countries Since 2002. Watch the event and learn more about Justice for Jews from Arab Countries by clicking here.
- Friday MAY 29th – Mizrahi Shavuot with JIMENA and OneTable Join JIMENA and OneTable to celebrate Shavuot, a Jewish harvest festival, led by the wonderful Rabbi Tsipi Gabai. Tsipi Gabai is the first Moroccan female rabbi and currently one of only four female Mizrahi/Sephardic rabbis worldwide. We’ll welcome in Shabbat together singing sacred ancient Sephardic song cycles known as Piyyutim with percussionist Katja Cooper, and learn about Moroccan Jewish traditions & culture of Shavuot. Come with questions or stories to share! Watch Mizrahi Shavuot by clicking here.
May 6h, 2020 | Wednesday – Saving the Iraqi Jewish Archives: A Journey of Identity Join us for a fascinating conversation on the Iraqi Jewish Archive with film-maker, Adriana Davis and Iraqi Jewish leader and advocate, Carole Basri. Their latest film, “Saving the Iraqi Jewish Archive” explores the history and stories of the Iraqi Jewish Archive which consists of over 4,800 books and artifacts that were stripped from Iraqi Jews starting in 1952. Rescued by US soldiers in 2003 from a flooded basement of the Iraqi secret police, the archive was brought to the USA for restoration and exhibition. Watch Saving the Iraqi Jewish Archive by clicking here
May 14th, 2020 | Thursday – UPROOTED: How 3000 Years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight with Lyn Julius, British-born daughter of Iraqi-Jewish refugees, journalist, blogger and the founder of Harif, the UK Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Watch Uprooted by clicking here.
Friday | April 17th, 2020 – Mimouna 2020 – JIMENA X ONETABLE
Celebrate Mimouna with JIMENA and Onetable! Mimouna is a festival celebrated by Moroccan Jews the day after Passover, marking the return to eating chametz (leavened foods). Families traditionally open their homes to neighbors and friends, and fill their kitchen tables with delicious sweets symbolizing joy, health, and abundance.
Sunday | April 19th, 2020 Mimouna Festival – A Taste of Mizrahi Culture:
11AM PST | 2pm EST – The day will start with a Mizrahi feminism panel – moderated by Mor Homri, UGA Israel Fellow. Speakers: Gina Walden, founder and President of JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) Lipaz Ela, Jewish Agency Israel Fellow for Hillel at UCLA Reut Naggar, Israeli producer, cultural entrepreneur, social activist and founder/co-owner of WDG.
12pm PST | 3pm EST – Mizrahi Dance Class with Miriam Peretz: Yemenite and Moroccan style
1pm PST | 4pm EST – Open Dance Session with DJ
Sunday | April 12th, 2020 – The Interfacing of COVID-19 and Jewish Tradition – Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D. follows will help guide the JIMENA community as we navigate the challenges posed by Covid-19. Together we will learn about the Rabbinical and Jewish precedent for confronting disease during uncertain times. You can watch the talk here.
Sunday | April 19th, 2020 – Join us for a LIVE Mizrahi dance class with Miriam Peretz. Learn traditional Yemenite and Moroccan dance, celebrate Mizrachi tradition and heritage, and move your body!
Sunday | April 5th, 2020 – Book talk and discussion: Spies of No Country Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel with journalist and award-winning author, Matti Friedman. YOU CAN VIEW THE TALK BY CLICKING HERE
Thursday | March 26, 2020 – Online Yemenite Cooking Class with Doreet Jehassi, owner and founder of The Ma’lawah Bar. Doreet will demonstrate the process of making Jachnun, a sweet rolled bread that’s slowly baked overnight. YOU CAN VIEW THE RECORDED COOKING DEMONSTRATION BY CLICKING HERE.
Sunday | March 29, 2020 – Social Media Training Pro-Israel and Mizrahi Activism with Hen Mazzig. Hen is an Israel-based writer, international speaker, and social activist from Tel Aviv. As one of The Algemeiner’s top 100 most positively influential Jewish people in the world, Hen has single-handedly driven and shaped social-media conversations around contemporary Mizrahi and Sephardic identity and history. YOU CAN VIEW THE RECORDED SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING BY HERE.
Wednesday | April 1st, 2020 – Multilingual Passover – Passover offers a great opportunity to learn about the diversity of the Jewish Diaspora. The haggadah has been translated into many languages, and Jews have discussed the holiday using similar but distinct phrases. Join us for A conversation with Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor (Professor, Hebrew Union College) demonstrates this diverse linguistic history. Music by Asher Levy and Chloe Pourmorady