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The Mizrahi Protest: Lessons from History

April 8 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Community Lecture with Henriette Dahan Kalev, Ben Gurion University

The Mizrahi Protest: Lessons from History

April 8, 2024, 5:30pm. In-person event.
UNC Sonja Haynes Stone Center, Hitchcock Room
Directions & Parking in Bell Tower Deck ($1 after 5pm)
Free and open to the public
UNC Heel LIfe credit will be available

Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Religious Studies and the Dept. of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

This lecture is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor through an endowed lectureship in Sephardic Judaism.


The Mizrahi Protest: Lessons from History

This presentation explores several milestones in the annals of Mizrahi protest in Israel. These demonstrations, which started shortly after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, were meant to contest a consistent policy of discrimination against the Mizrahim, or “oriental Jews.” Despite their importance and consequences, the protests were mostly sidelined in public debates, and, in the early years of the fledgling State of Israel, various statesmen chose to address these demonstrations as proof for the urgent need to re-socialize and re-educate the Mizrahi immigrants rather than consider them as an opportunity to re-examine extant social policies. For its part, on various occasions Israeli police responded with violence against the demonstrators; these fierce measures taken by the police had never previously been employed against Jewish citizens of the State.  References to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US will provide the broader context for racial/ethnic societal wounds that remain mostly unresolved even now. This presentation points to the importance of efforts at truth and reconciliation concerning discrimination against fellow Jewish citizens of Israel.


Henriette Dahan Kalev is professor emerita at Ben Gurion University in the Negev, and a Truman Institute for Peace Research Fellow at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  She is the founder of the Gender Studies Program at Ben Gurion University. Dahan Kalev continues to give lectures, publish, and teach in her main areas of interest: political science and gender studies. Two of her recent books are: Resistance at the Social Margins (Resling, Tel Aviv 2018 in Hebrew) and An Anatomy of Feminist Resistance (Lexington Books, NY 2019 in English). She is also the editor and author of many articles and books. Dahan Kalev has spent time researching and teaching at leading universities abroad such as Oxford (2003-2004), NYU (2011-2012) and UCLA (2015). She has always divided her time between academia and human rights activism.  Most recently, she been involved with sustainability projects such as Earth Promise, an urban agriculture farm, which occupies much of her energy.



April 8
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


carolina center for jewish studies
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