14 October 2009

Northern California: Baghdad to Bombay, Oct. 18

Interested in the Jewish community of Bombay? This program with Pearl Sofaer and the Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley should answer all your questions with music, memories, food and a book signing.

Sofaer is the author of "Baghdad to Bombay: In the Kitchens of My Cousins." She will share her book, childhood memories, Middle Eastern customs, music and traditional foods. She will be joined by Shuli and Ronit Madmone of Whole Spice.

Wine and Middle Eastern snacks will be served. Yum!

The event will run from 2-4pm, Sunday, October 18, at the Napa Valley Yacht Club. Reservations required.

Sofaer is also a member of JIMENA, the acronym for Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, which seeks recognition for the nearly one million Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa who were displaced from their countries of origin.

It is dedicated to the preservation of Mizrahi and Sephardi culture and history, and seeks to address the existing gap in the historical narrative of the Middle East and North Africa by sharing the Mizrahi and Sephardi story of oppression, plight and displacement.

Jimena's website holds a wealth of information, an excellent FAQ, resources, news, events, personal stories, newsletter archives.

The Speakers Bureau includes former Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa who share their personal story of displacement and spread the message of tolerance and respect for all. Members undergo intensive training and are available to visit academic institutions and organizations throughout North America.

The visual history project aims to collect the recorded personal testimonies of Jews who fled North African and Middle Eastern countries and now live in North America. The testimonies will help preserve and advance the important heritage and history of Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa.

Through cultural programming such as henna ceremonies, mimouna celebrations, Mizrahi Shabbaton, Middle Eastern cooking classes, film screenings and music, JIMENA shares the rich Mizrahi and Sephardi culture with the public.

Also, on Sunday, October 18, at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, the group will provide a free speaker's training course, with director Avi Goldwasser ("Forgotten Refugees").

The session will provide tips on public speaking, training on how to share your personal and familial story, as well as information on the visual history project, speakers bureau, cultural outreach programming and more.

There's a session for eyewitness Sephardic and Mizrahi refugees at 11am, followed by a kosher lunch at 1pm, a 2pm session for young generations.

Registration required.

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