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The Forgotten Refugees


Sunday, February 21st, 7 pm 900 High Street, Santa Cruz co-sponsored by Hadassah Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Hillel and Temple Beth El In 1945, there were one million Jews living in the Middle East & North Africa, part of the diverse fabric of peoples native to the region for over two millennia. Yet in 1948, with the establishment of the State of Israel, anti-Jewish riots and government-sponsored intimidation set off a massive wave of Jewish emigration. From Casablanca to Baghdad, Jews abandoned their ancestral homelands, leaving behind their homes, communities and livelihoods, and suddenly becoming refugees. For decades, many never shared their experiences of being forced into exile. But in “The Forgotten Refugees,” for the first time, the stories of these Jewish refugees are told. Directed by Michael Grynszpan and produced by Avi Goldwasser, “The Forgotten Refugees” won the “Best Featured Documentary” award at the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival and the “Best Documentary Film” award at the 2007 Marbella Film Festival. OUR SPEAKER: Caroline Shaaya was born in Baghdad. In 1971, at the age of six, she escaped with her family through Iraq's northern border to Iran, and from there to Israel. She served in the Israeli air force from 1984-1986. She received her B.S. from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Electrical Engineering, and an M.A. from Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), in teaching foreign language. Currently, she works at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) as a program analyst, and resides in Capitola, CA. She has a powerful story and is a great speaker. JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East & North Africa) has a 40-member eye-witness Speakers Bureau. They have shared their personal stories with the UN Human Rights Council, US Congressional Human Rights Caucus, European and Italian Parliaments, Israeli Knesset, British House of Lords, over 80 Universities in North America and hundreds of organizations.

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