Immigration

Content type
Collection

Ronit Elkabetz

Ronit Elkabetz (1963-2016) was one of Israeli cinema's leading actors. Coming from the northern periphery, she played in some of the major Israeli films of the last decades. She is particularly remembered for the trilogy she directed with her brother Shlomi Elkabetz: To Take a Wife (2004), The Seven Days (2009), and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2013), all addressing the issue of the oppression of Mizrahi women in the name of the Jewish religion.

Zoya Cherkassky

Zoya Cherkassky (b. 1976 in Kyiv, Ukraine) is a prominent Israeli artist. She works in a range of media and styles, synthesizing traditional painting techniques with vernacular tools and moving freely between allusions to the European canon and contemporary art. Her work is marked by humor, irony, and satire and at times has been controversial.

Kamala Harris speaking at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People

"Do Not Come": Kamala Harris's Warning to Migrants

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

During a recent visit to Guatemala, Vice President, Kamala Harris issued a stark warning to would-be migrants: "Do not come."

Topics: Immigration

Achy Obejas

Writer, translator, and activist Achy Obejas was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956 and moved to the United States with her parents six years later. She is known for stories with characters and themes related to gender, queer sexuality, Cuban-ness, and Jewishness, as well as migration, displacement, and diaspora.

Zohra El Fassia

Zohra El Fassia was a renowned singer and recording artist in twentieth-century Morocco. Her life story moves between the burgeoning colonial recording industry in the Maghrib to North African immigrant histories in the south of Israel. El Fassia’s soulful music and powerful persona have resonated with generations of artists and activists who look to her for the unheard stories of Jews in the Arab and Muslim world and of Mizrahi Jews in Israel.

Mexico-US border wall at Tijuana, Mexico

Keep the Pressure On: Jewish Activists Continue the Fight for Immigration Justice Under Biden

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

JWA's politics writer talks to Jewish activists from Never Again Action about keeping the pressure on the incoming presidential administration when it comes to immigration justice.

Henny Wenkart, 2019

Keep Your Doors Open: Lessons from Henny Wenkart

Susan Goodman

We interview Holocaust survivor Henny Wenkart and reflect on how the US has closed its doors who those who need sanctuary most.

Eli Wiesel Banner at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson

Jewish Diaspora in the Borderlands: An Interview with the Tucson Jewish History Museum

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

We talk to Josie Shapiro about the Tucson Jewish Museums's role in advocating for immigrant justice in Arizona and creating queer-affirming, feminist Jewish space.

High school student standing in front of a brick wall. She is holding a protest sign that says "To forget a Holocaust is to be killed twice," attributed to Elie Wiesel.

On Emancipation Avenue

Madeline Canfield

My friend wanted to get arrested, one morning in July, on the curb of the sidewalk along a street east of downtown Houston.

Boer women and children in a British concentration camp during the Boer war

A Concentration Camp By Any Other Name

Roz Tromley

A concentration camp by any other name is still a concentration camp.

"Gittel's Journey" Book Cover

A Passover Story: Lesléa Newman's "Gittel's Journey"

Dr. Helene Meyers

Gittel’s Journey overlaps with one of the central themes of Pesach: that having been strangers ourselves, we are ethically obligated to remember the stranger.

Topics: Immigration, Fiction
San Francisco DACA rally

Immigration Mythbusters: Starting the Conversation

Amy Jarkow

In my opinion, the fall of DACA should have warranted the same amount of coverage in school as the increasingly frequent mass shootings happening in this country.

Topics: Schools, Immigration
Justine Wise Polier and Libby Schaaf

Governing with Valor

Molly Weiner

As the first woman Justice of New York, Polier valiantly worked to improve the family court, fought for the rights of children and poor families, and tirelessly lobbied to ease quotas on Jewish refugees. Libby Schaaf, the 52-year-old mayor of Oakland, California, also fights for the inclusion of all people.

Emily Axelrod at L'Taken

Stirred and Spurred to Action

Emily Axelrod

Judaism never seemed to offer anything that stoked my social justice fire. I didn’t hear many calls to action in services; partly because I wasn’t looking, and partly because services felt mundane to me.

Lydia Kertz's Family 1930s Cropped

A Refugee Tale

Dr. Lydia Yaitsky Kertz

I have told myself that these strangers, whose microaggressions have plagued me for years, do not deserve my life story. It is usually strangers who demand it, who scrutinize my accent, singling me out as someone who does not belong in the only country that has granted me citizenship. I am an American, and I am a refugee.

Topics: Immigration
Sisters

A Sisterly Homeland

Savoy Curry

As soon as I mentioned Birthright, my sister seemed to know exactly where our conversation was headed. “I’ve been meaning to ask you about that, too,” she said, reminding me that despite being my younger sister she always seems to be one step ahead of me.

Chuppah

The Global Value of Peace in the Home

Steph Black

Shalom bayit is the Jewish concept of peace in the home. It refers to the domestic harmony that comes with a solid partnership between spouses. When we work against domestic violence and spousal abuse, we uphold this Jewish value. And when our government turns away asylum seekers fleeing domestic violence, it violates a core Jewish tenet.

Bernard H. Mehlman

Rabbi Bernard Mehlman is the senior scholar at Temple Israel of Boston. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the Soviet Union and helped facilitate the emigration of several high-profile refuseniks in the Boston area.

Donald Putnoi

Donald Putnoi was an active member of the movement for Soviet Jewry in Boston, through his membership at Temple Israel and friendship with Rabbi Bernard Mehlman.

Nadia Fradkova

Growing up in a small town near Moscow, Nadia Fradkova didn’t learn of her Judaism until faced with taunting by her peers. After the Soviet Union collapsed and restrictions on emigration ended, she settled in Israel for a few years before making her way to Boston.

Ary Rotman

A refusenik for many years, Ary Rotman eventually emigrated to Boston in the early 1970s with his wife and their young son, first working at a department store before taking a job at an insurance company.

Diana Shklyarov

Born in Leningrad, Diana Shklyarov came to terms with the antisemitism she faced after being refused entrance to a prestigious university. Years later, she and her family were finally granted permission to emigrate and resettled in Boston in 1988.

Olga Shmuylovich

An artist whose work is rooted in Jewish identity, Olga Shmuylovich spent the first part of her life trying unsuccessfully to emigrate from the Soviet Union, until finally resettling in Boston with her husband, also an artist, in 1992.

Fran Putnoi

The first woman to serve as president at Temple Israel of Boston, Fran Putnoi was an active member of the movement for Soviet Jewry in Boston.

Janna Kaplan

After facing significant challenges as a Jewish woman scientist in the Soviet Union, Janna Kaplan tried to emigrate, but was denied an exit visa. Her persistence enabled her to eventually leave the country and settle in the United States.

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