Archive for the ‘Ethiopian Jews’ Category

Israel finally receives blood donations from gays and Ethiopian immigrants – Ynetnews

As of June 1, the MDA Blood Services Center will allow blood donations from both men who have not had gay sex in over a year and Ethiopians, after years during which these groups were barred from donating. This change will be implemented thanks to advanced equipment that enables rapid viral tests.

To date, MDA blood services have forbidden Ethiopian Jews and gay men to donate blood due to fear of contracting HIV. This long-standing decision has aroused waves of protest from the Ethiopian community.

(File photo: Shutterstock)

Three years ago, Ynet journalist Moran Azulay published a story about former Knesset Member Pnina Tamano-Shata, who wanted to donate blood at the Knesset, like her colleagues, but was informed that because she was born in Ethiopia, she was not allowed to donate blood.

Former Health Minister Yael German decided to set up a committee to determine the criteria for receiving blood donations. Many western countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia, allow gay men to donate blood, provided they have not had sex a year before the donation.

As mentioned, about six months ago, the Ministry of Health announced for the first time the change in the policy of blood donations, and determined that immigrants born in Ethiopia could donate blood much like Israelis of Ethiopian origin born in Israel, provided they did not visit Ethiopia a year before the donation.

Similarly, homosexuals can now donate blood, provided that they report they have not had sex with other men a year prior to the donation.

The newly purchased device enables detection of viral infections: HIV 1 and 2, HTLV type 1 and 2, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis. In addition, the test also detects the West Nile virus that can cause severe diseases in populations at risk such as the ill, the elderly, infants and pregnant women.

Another innovation that the National Blood Bank has decided upon is to allow blood donations without age restrictions, contrary to the policy that has been in force thus far, restricting blood donations up to the age of 65. The donation of blood by members of the third age group will be possible after the approval of the family doctor indicating that the donation does not endanger their health and the indication of diseases and medications.

Former MK Pnina Tamano-Shata: “The State of Israel discriminated against the Ethiopian immigrants for three decades, looking at us as a walking affliction to Israeli society, labeling us as sick from a racist point of view. While taking blood from other much more infected countries, our blood was thrown away. ”

“This is a victory and for that, I’m glad. For me, this has been a struggle over my very existence and my ability to exist in peace in Israeli society. I have made a vow that there will not be a situation in which the State of Israel thinks that it may continue to discriminate against us for so many years it is an important message for the younger generation that justice and truth must not be sacrificed.”

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Israel finally receives blood donations from gays and Ethiopian immigrants – Ynetnews

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June 14, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

An Israeli’s alphabet combines Hebrew and Arabic to promote understanding – thejewishchronicle.net

Liron Lavi Turkenich compares produce in a video for her Aravrit writing system. (Screenshot from YouTubeTurkenich)

Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promote coexistence in Israel and beyond.

I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich said. That applies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also to Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world.

Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook by Kan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday.

I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenich said.

Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English she realized that she had always ignored the lettering. Arabic tends to appear smaller on official signage and, like most Israeli Jews, she cannot read it.

For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found that people can read pretty well using only the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew.

In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were!

Based on this insight, Turkenich combined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules. Turkenich tested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned to Arab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she now has Arab friends who help.

Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravrit into a writing system. She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style. The changes have given her the flexibility to craft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules.

Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name. She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Last year, Aravrit was exhibited at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba.

Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to the identities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed a bill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrys Jewish status and make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab.

But Turkenich said her goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch.

Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, she developed a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will be used for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews.

Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

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An Israeli’s alphabet combines Hebrew and Arabic to promote understanding – thejewishchronicle.net

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June 13, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

First Read For June 7 – Jewish Week

Want a Free Palestine T-shirt? Dont go to Sears

Sears says it will remove a line of clothing featuring the slogan Free Palestine from its website, the Jerusalem Post reports. The clothing was offered for sale by another company, Spreadshirt Collection, and included tank tops, t-shirts and hoodies featuring a variety of pro-Palestinian messages.

The clothing was offered for sale through Sears Marketplace, which offers a platform for third-party sellers to offer their wares through websites managed by Sears. The designs included a clenched fist in the colors of the Palestinian flag and statements opposing The Israeli occupation.

A Sears representative said the company will be removing the items soon. We do not want our members to be unhappy. According to a statement from a Sears spokesman, the apparel was pulled from the site based on feedback the company received.

Jewish campus chaplains daughter assaulted in England

The teenage daughter of the University of Surreys Jewish chaplain in England was allegedly beaten by an anti-Semitic gangand left bleeding in a park fortwo hours late last month after police failed to respond to an emergency call, according to the Algemeiner.

Hannah Goldbergwas reportedlysitting in apublic park with two friends on the Shabbat of May 27, when a group of five men approached them with comments like, Hitler should have killed all you Jews when he had the chance and You should have all been gassed, the paper reported.

One of the boys threw a basketball at Hannahs face and kicked her in the chest, while another boy punched her in the face repeatedly. Hannahs friends approached a nearby postal worker for help, who in turn called the Metropolitan Police Service, who never arrived.

New York educators honored by Covenant Foundation

Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, founding principal of SAR High School in Riverdale, and Meredith Englander Polsky, national director of Institutes and Training at Matan in New York, were among Jewish educators named recipients this week of the Award from the Covenant Foundation, the New York-based philanthropy announced.

The Award is considered among the highest honors in the field of Jewish education.

These Jewish educators exemplify inspired, courageous and visionary leadership, said Cheryl Finkel, Chair of the Board of Directors of The Covenant Foundation and a former Covenant Award recipient. Along with the recognition that accompanies this award, each recipient will receive $36,000 and each of their institutions will receive $5,000.

Rabbi convicted of indecent assault opens study center in Jerusalem

Rabbi Moti Elon, a prominent educator in Israel who was convicted of indecent assault against a minor less than four years ago, this week opened a study center in central Jerusalem, Israeli mediareports.

Elon was convicted on two counts of indecent assault by force against a minor in August 2013, but never served any jail time. Instead, he was given a six-month commuted sentence which he served in community service. According to an assistant, the rabbi, who lives in northern Israel, has been teaching in Jerusalem ever since his conviction with several hundred people attending his lessons.

His new study center, Beit Vaad UMidrash, will host religious lessons and lectures throughout the week. Rabbi Elon himself will teach three times a week on topics of Jewish law and mysticism.

Ethiopian Jews arrive in Israel

Surrounded by Israeli flags and dozens of balloons, 72 new Ethiopian immigrants arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport yesterday, the first group to immigrate since the government resumed Ethiopian immigration last October, according to the Times of Israel.

In August 2016, a year after the government first announced it would bring those still awaiting immigration, the Finance Ministry agreed to allocate money to allow 1,300 Ethiopians to come, the first step of a five-year program to bring 6,000 new immigrants at a rate of approximately 100 per month.

The process for immigration approval has beenplagued by accusations of racism and inefficiencyagainst the Interior Ministry. Two additional flights are planned for June, including one next week with almost 100 people.

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First Read For June 7 – Jewish Week

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PM holds talk with Ethiopian-Israelis in Israel – Walta Information Center (blog)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn discussed with Ethiopian-Israeli communities on current affairs in Israel.

In Discussion form the Ethiopian Embassy in Israel organized yesterday evening, the PM said that Ethiopia has registered fast economic growth over tha last consecutive years.

The PM also mentioned that it was this growth that enabled it to tackle the drought occurred in the country by itself.

However, there were problems happened in some parts of the country following the people request, the PM said that these problem has been solved by deep reform programs.

The PM said that peace and stability has maintained in the country, which makes the country safe for investment.

He urged the Ethiopian-Israeli to invest in Ethiopia as the government is awaiting them with support.

According to him, there many business people investing in the country, he said calling up on the Ethiopian-Israeli communities to invest in the country with the technologies they have acquired.

The PM was also responding the questions raised by the participants who said they were allowed to gain a passport of Ethiopian-Israeli.

He assured them that new regulation was enacted to respond the question of passport and it is solved.

According to him, the government believes the importance of creating relation Ethiopian Jews in a new chapter.

The Ethiopian-Israeli communities, which their number stood 140,000 this time were first airlifted to Israel in late 1900s.

In the visit accompanied by first lady Roman Tesfaye and senior officials, PM is expected to strengthen the bilateral relation between two countries.(ENA)

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Jerusalem Film Scholarship Awarded to Business Student – The Media Line

Winner seeks to tell the stories of the disenfranchised On his college transcript, 24-year old Napthali Rosenberg seems like a typical college senior about to graduate with a degree in business administration. In reality, he has a far bigger plan to take that business degree and apply it to the world of filmmaking.

Rosenberg is this years winner of a scholarship created by the Miami Jewish Film Festival that sends a Jewish South Florida student to Jerusalem for a six week workshop on filmmaking, from June 14 to July 25.

I am beyond excited and grateful for this incredible opportunity I have been given, Rosenberg told The Media Line. Its really a dream program they have put together.

When selecting a winner for the scholarship, the Miami Jewish Film Festival was seeking a student with an intense passion for filmmaking. While Rosenberg is going to Florida International University to receive a degree in business administration, his degree is all part of a larger plan focused around film.

Rosenberg wants to open his own production company and he plans to use the skills he learned with his business degree to help him along the way.

The logistics side is the most important part of creating a quality film piece, Rosenberg said. Having a clear, creative vision is very important, but is only half of the necessities in filmmaking. Acquiring finances, building and leading teams, marketing and distribution of a film project are what will tremendously help ensure the highest quality.

Rosenberg was born in New York but moved to South Florida after less than two years. His mother is an African-American who converted to Judaism and his father is an Orthodox Jew associated with the Chabad movement of Hasidism.

I have been deep in the Jewish community simultaneously as an insider and outsider, which has given me a unique perspective on Jewish culture, Rosenberg said.

Rosenbergs diverse background caused him to stand out when he attended Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach, where he was the only student of African-American descent.

Socially, I wasnt able to express myself the way I wanted to, Rosenberg said. He turned to various art forms such as writing, drawing, and painting to express himself at the time. It was not long until Rosenberg found the same solace in filmmaking.

Rosenbergs film portfolio includes short films, advertisements for startup companies, and multiple business conferences. This week he is taking on the 48 Hour Film Project in Miami, an event where teams of filmmakers have a single weekend to write, shoot, and edit a short film.

This summer, students of the Jerusalem Film Workshop will be tasked with creating one documentary film during their six week stay. Rosenberg plans to create a film focusing on the Ethiopian Jews that live in Israel.

They [Ethiopians] have a large community in Israel and unless you travel there people dont realize that there is an African community of practicing Jews, Rosenberg said. I dont think their story has been told well.

This film idea directly reflects Rosenbergs future plans in filmmaking. When he creates his own film production company, he hopes to focus on films that tell the story of the disenfranchised.

I want to do all kinds of film but primarily I want to focus on the unheard voice and different minority groups that have overcome certain obstacles and didnt see themselves just as victims, Rosenberg said.

For a second consecutive year, the Miami Jewish Film Festival has provided a full ride scholarship to the Jerusalem Film Workshop. Festival executive director Igor Shteyrenberg has developed the scholarship program over the last two years and he believes its purpose directly reflects what the festival stands for.

This [scholarship] really spoke to our festivals core values, Shteyrenberg told The Media Line. Thats bridging cultural gaps, supplying tolerance and understanding, and giving fledgling filmmakers the opportunity to realize their dreams.

Selecting a winner for the scholarship was a lengthy process in which a candidates previous work in film and commitment to filmmaking was analyzed, Shteyrenberg said.

Over 150 candidates were vying for our scholarship and each of them showed tremendous potential, Shteyrenberg said. Ultimately, what distinguished Naphtali was his extraordinary burning passion and determination to fulfilling his film making dreams, his production experience, and extensive work-to-date.

THOMAS CHILES is a student journalist with The Media Lines Press and Policy Student Program.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Media Line Ltd., it’s management, staff, advertisers and sponsors. The Media Line bears no responsibility for opinions and/or information appearing herein.

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Can an alphabet merging Hebrew and Arabic promote coexistence … – Haaretz

The alphabet, designed by an Israeli, is based on a fascinating discovery made by a French ophthalmologist in the 19th century

Middle East peace may remain out of reach, but at least the Hebrew and Arabic languages have found a compromise.

Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promote coexistence in Israel and beyond.

I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich told JTA. That applies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also to Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world.

Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook by Kan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday.

I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenich said.

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Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English she realized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read.

For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found that people can read pretty well using only the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew.

In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were!

Based on this insight, Turkenich combined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules. Turkenich tested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned to Arab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she now has Arab friends who help.

Aravrits letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for peace would say salaam on top and shalom on the bottom.

Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravit into a writing system. She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style. The changes have given her the flexibility to craft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules.

Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name. She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba.

Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to the identities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed a bill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrys Jewish status and make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab.

But Turkenich said her goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch.

Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, she developed a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will be used for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews.

Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

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Can an alphabet merging Hebrew and Arabic promote coexistence … – Haaretz

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Why Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Is White – Forward

Wonder Woman is, shockingly, the first film in our current decade-plus superhero moment to feature a female lead. But while the film is pioneering in terms of gender representation, in other respects it is not especially innovative. The film does include some black Amazons, and a couple of POC, but the headline characters are white, and almost all the marketing has been centered on white people. The film may be a breakthrough for white women, but as far as women of color are concerned, it perpetuates the bleak superhero status quo.

The whiteness of Wonder Woman doesnt seem up for debate. And yet, some have decided to debate it. An argument has been bubbling underground on social media that Gal Gadot, who plays the title role, is actually a person of color. It was aired in full by Matthew Mueller at comicbook.com. Gal Gadot is not actually Caucasian, but is in fact Israeli, Mueller announces confidently. He then goes on to chastise POC critics for not recognizing her casting as triumph for diverse representation.

Mueller doesnt actually have much of an argument. He mentions a Times of Israel blog post which points to the history of Jewish oppression and waffles back and forth on whether Jews might be considered POC. But mostly Mueller just announces Gadot is Israeli! like a magician pulling a piece of lint out of a hat and trying to convince you its a rabbit.

Mueller can get away with this slapdash approach because race is itself such an incoherent concept. Mueller argues that Caucasian equals white, as if whiteness is an actual ethnicity or regional background.

But the truth is that whiteness isnt a biological or historical truth; its a fuzzy, culturally determined category that has fluctuated widely over time. At various historical moments and in various places, Irish people, Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans, and, of course, Jews, have been excluded from the category of white people. It may seem ridiculous to say that a nationality like Israeli is non-whitebut Donald Trump racialized the nationality of Mexicans during the 2016 campaign. Whiteness isnt a formally defined, logical system. Its a blunt instrument designed to enable some people to hurt others. As such, it doesnt have to be particularly elegant or well made.

In this context, the best definition of white people is simply people who are considered white. Gadots nationality was not a secret; she wasnt passing as something other than Israeli. Mueller is arguing that when people see Gadot as white, they are wrong. But being white is really just a matter of what people see you as. People know Gadots background; they simply see that background as consistent with whiteness David Edelsteins bizarrely exoticizing comment that Israeli women are a breed unto themselves notwithstanding. For that matter, in Israel itself, Gadots skin color and European background protect her from the kind of discrimination faced by Ethiopian Jews, other dark-skinned Jews, and Palestinians.

Among those who see Gadot as white are the Wonder Woman filmmakers. Gadot is Jewish and Israeli, but like the Jewish Scarlett Johansson Hollywood perceives her in terms of unpsecified whiteness. In the film, Wonder Womans mother is played by Connie Nielsen, a white Danish actor. Wonder Woman as a young girl is played (in a show-stealing turn) by white actress Lilly Aspell. Gadot got the role as Wonder Woman precisely because she is seen as an appropriate actor to play a character who has traditionally been white.

In the movie itself, its clear that the other characters perceive Wonder Woman as white. The movie is set in World War I, a time when overt racism was even more acceptable than it is today. But when Wonder Woman crashes a high level military meeting, no one utters racial slurs or questions her whiteness. They are only scandalized because of her gender. One of Steve Trevors army buddies played by Said Taghmaoui discusses his experience of racial prejudice with Wonder Woman. During the discussion, he clearly does not think that she is likely to face the same kind of discrimination.

Perhaps the clearest sign that Gadot is white, though, is Muellers own argument. The fact that some groups who were once seen as non-white have become white and successful is a constant talking point for people who dont want to deal with ongoing racism. Robert Kennedy famously pointed to the success of the Irish to deflect James Baldwins criticisms of racism in the United States. The very incoherence of whiteness becomes a way to defend whiteness. Our ideology makes no sense; therefore we cant actually be oppressing you is a ridiculous argument, but a consistently popular one.

Gadot is white. But thats not to say that Jews face no discrimination. On the contrary, Gadots casting illustrates the quieter, ongoing failures of Jewish representation in superhero films. As Ive discussed here before, Hollywood seems constitutionally incapable of casting a Jewish actor to play a Jewish hero whose Jewishness is narratively acknowledged. Gadot can be Wonder Woman only if she sets aside her Jewishness as a visible identity. Heroism is only available as a reward for assimilation.

Gadot is a great Wonder Woman; she brings humor, enthusiasm, and presence to the character. But her casting is not a triumph for POC representation. And its not, really, a triumph for Jewish representation. The Wonder Woman film challenges the idea that only men can be heroes. But it accepts the conventional wisdom that says that, to be a hero, you must disappear into whiteness. Thats a message that hurts people of color. And its a message that ultimately hurts Jews who are not people of color as well.

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An Israeli’s Alphabet Combines Hebrew And Arabic To Promote Understanding – Jewish Week

TEL AVIV (JTA) Middle East peace may remain out of reach, but at least the Hebrew and Arabic languages have found a compromise.

Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promotecoexistence in Israel and beyond.

I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich told JTA. Thatapplies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also toIsrael and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world.

Diagrams showing how Aravrit combines Hebrew and Arabic letters. JTA

Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook byKan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday.

I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenichsaid.

We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution.

Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English sherealized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read.

For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found thatpeople can read pretty well usingonly the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew.

In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were!

Examples of Aravit words hanging on display. JTA

Based on this insight, Turkenichcombined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules.Turkenichtested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned toArab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she nowhas Arab friends who help.

Aravrits letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for peace would say salaam on top and shalom on the bottom.

Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravrit into a writing system.She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style.The changes have given her the flexibility tocraft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules.

Liron Lavi Turkenich comparing produce in a video for her Aravit writing system. JTA

Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name.She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba.

Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to theidentities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed abill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrysJewish statusand make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them.Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch.

But Turkenichsaidher goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch.

Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, shedeveloped a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will beused for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews.

Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

Read this article:

An Israeli’s Alphabet Combines Hebrew And Arabic To Promote Understanding – Jewish Week

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An Israeli’s Alphabet Combines Hebrew And Arabic To Promote … – Jewish Week

TEL AVIV (JTA) Middle East peace may remain out of reach, but at least the Hebrew and Arabic languages have found a compromise.

Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promotecoexistence in Israel and beyond.

I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich told JTA. Thatapplies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also toIsrael and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world.

Diagrams showing how Aravrit combines Hebrew and Arabic letters. JTA

Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook byKan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday.

I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenichsaid.

We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution.

Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English sherealized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read.

For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found thatpeople can read pretty well usingonly the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew.

In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were!

Examples of Aravit words hanging on display. JTA

Based on this insight, Turkenichcombined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules.Turkenichtested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned toArab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she nowhas Arab friends who help.

Aravrits letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for peace would say salaam on top and shalom on the bottom.

Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravrit into a writing system.She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style.The changes have given her the flexibility tocraft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules.

Liron Lavi Turkenich comparing produce in a video for her Aravit writing system. JTA

Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name.She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba.

Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to theidentities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed abill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrysJewish statusand make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them.Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch.

But Turkenichsaidher goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch.

Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, shedeveloped a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will beused for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews.

Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

Read this article:

An Israeli’s Alphabet Combines Hebrew And Arabic To Promote … – Jewish Week

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Israel finally receives blood donations from gays and Ethiopian immigrants – Ynetnews

As of June 1, the MDA Blood Services Center will allow blood donations from both men who have not had gay sex in over a year and Ethiopians, after years during which these groups were barred from donating. This change will be implemented thanks to advanced equipment that enables rapid viral tests. To date, MDA blood services have forbidden Ethiopian Jews and gay men to donate blood due to fear of contracting HIV. This long-standing decision has aroused waves of protest from the Ethiopian community. (File photo: Shutterstock) Three years ago, Ynet journalist Moran Azulay published a story about former Knesset Member Pnina Tamano-Shata, who wanted to donate blood at the Knesset, like her colleagues, but was informed that because she was born in Ethiopia, she was not allowed to donate blood. Former Health Minister Yael German decided to set up a committee to determine the criteria for receiving blood donations. Many western countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia, allow gay men to donate blood, provided they have not had sex a year before the donation. As mentioned, about six months ago, the Ministry of Health announced for the first time the change in the policy of blood donations, and determined that immigrants born in Ethiopia could donate blood much like Israelis of Ethiopian origin born in Israel, provided they did not visit Ethiopia a year before the donation. Similarly, homosexuals can now donate blood, provided that they report they have not had sex with other men a year prior to the donation. The newly purchased device enables detection of viral infections: HIV 1 and 2, HTLV type 1 and 2, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis. In addition, the test also detects the West Nile virus that can cause severe diseases in populations at risk such as the ill, the elderly, infants and pregnant women. Another innovation that the National Blood Bank has decided upon is to allow blood donations without age restrictions, contrary to the policy that has been in force thus far, restricting blood donations up to the age of 65. The donation of blood by members of the third age group will be possible after the approval of the family doctor indicating that the donation does not endanger their health and the indication of diseases and medications. Former MK Pnina Tamano-Shata: “The State of Israel discriminated against the Ethiopian immigrants for three decades, looking at us as a walking affliction to Israeli society, labeling us as sick from a racist point of view. While taking blood from other much more infected countries, our blood was thrown away. ” “This is a victory and for that, I’m glad. For me, this has been a struggle over my very existence and my ability to exist in peace in Israeli society. I have made a vow that there will not be a situation in which the State of Israel thinks that it may continue to discriminate against us for so many years it is an important message for the younger generation that justice and truth must not be sacrificed.”

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An Israeli’s alphabet combines Hebrew and Arabic to promote understanding – thejewishchronicle.net

Liron Lavi Turkenich compares produce in a video for her Aravrit writing system. (Screenshot from YouTubeTurkenich) Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promote coexistence in Israel and beyond. I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich said. That applies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also to Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world. Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook by Kan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday. I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenich said. Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English she realized that she had always ignored the lettering. Arabic tends to appear smaller on official signage and, like most Israeli Jews, she cannot read it. For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found that people can read pretty well using only the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew. In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were! Based on this insight, Turkenich combined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules. Turkenich tested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned to Arab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv. Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she now has Arab friends who help. Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravrit into a writing system. She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style. The changes have given her the flexibility to craft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules. Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name. She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Last year, Aravrit was exhibited at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba. Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to the identities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed a bill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrys Jewish status and make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab. But Turkenich said her goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom. Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch. Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, she developed a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will be used for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews. Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

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First Read For June 7 – Jewish Week

Want a Free Palestine T-shirt? Dont go to Sears Sears says it will remove a line of clothing featuring the slogan Free Palestine from its website, the Jerusalem Post reports. The clothing was offered for sale by another company, Spreadshirt Collection, and included tank tops, t-shirts and hoodies featuring a variety of pro-Palestinian messages. The clothing was offered for sale through Sears Marketplace, which offers a platform for third-party sellers to offer their wares through websites managed by Sears. The designs included a clenched fist in the colors of the Palestinian flag and statements opposing The Israeli occupation. A Sears representative said the company will be removing the items soon. We do not want our members to be unhappy. According to a statement from a Sears spokesman, the apparel was pulled from the site based on feedback the company received. Jewish campus chaplains daughter assaulted in England The teenage daughter of the University of Surreys Jewish chaplain in England was allegedly beaten by an anti-Semitic gangand left bleeding in a park fortwo hours late last month after police failed to respond to an emergency call, according to the Algemeiner. Hannah Goldbergwas reportedlysitting in apublic park with two friends on the Shabbat of May 27, when a group of five men approached them with comments like, Hitler should have killed all you Jews when he had the chance and You should have all been gassed, the paper reported. One of the boys threw a basketball at Hannahs face and kicked her in the chest, while another boy punched her in the face repeatedly. Hannahs friends approached a nearby postal worker for help, who in turn called the Metropolitan Police Service, who never arrived. New York educators honored by Covenant Foundation Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, founding principal of SAR High School in Riverdale, and Meredith Englander Polsky, national director of Institutes and Training at Matan in New York, were among Jewish educators named recipients this week of the Award from the Covenant Foundation, the New York-based philanthropy announced. The Award is considered among the highest honors in the field of Jewish education. These Jewish educators exemplify inspired, courageous and visionary leadership, said Cheryl Finkel, Chair of the Board of Directors of The Covenant Foundation and a former Covenant Award recipient. Along with the recognition that accompanies this award, each recipient will receive $36,000 and each of their institutions will receive $5,000. Rabbi convicted of indecent assault opens study center in Jerusalem Rabbi Moti Elon, a prominent educator in Israel who was convicted of indecent assault against a minor less than four years ago, this week opened a study center in central Jerusalem, Israeli mediareports. Elon was convicted on two counts of indecent assault by force against a minor in August 2013, but never served any jail time. Instead, he was given a six-month commuted sentence which he served in community service. According to an assistant, the rabbi, who lives in northern Israel, has been teaching in Jerusalem ever since his conviction with several hundred people attending his lessons. His new study center, Beit Vaad UMidrash, will host religious lessons and lectures throughout the week. Rabbi Elon himself will teach three times a week on topics of Jewish law and mysticism. Ethiopian Jews arrive in Israel Surrounded by Israeli flags and dozens of balloons, 72 new Ethiopian immigrants arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport yesterday, the first group to immigrate since the government resumed Ethiopian immigration last October, according to the Times of Israel. In August 2016, a year after the government first announced it would bring those still awaiting immigration, the Finance Ministry agreed to allocate money to allow 1,300 Ethiopians to come, the first step of a five-year program to bring 6,000 new immigrants at a rate of approximately 100 per month. The process for immigration approval has beenplagued by accusations of racism and inefficiencyagainst the Interior Ministry. Two additional flights are planned for June, including one next week with almost 100 people.

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PM holds talk with Ethiopian-Israelis in Israel – Walta Information Center (blog)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn discussed with Ethiopian-Israeli communities on current affairs in Israel. In Discussion form the Ethiopian Embassy in Israel organized yesterday evening, the PM said that Ethiopia has registered fast economic growth over tha last consecutive years. The PM also mentioned that it was this growth that enabled it to tackle the drought occurred in the country by itself. However, there were problems happened in some parts of the country following the people request, the PM said that these problem has been solved by deep reform programs. The PM said that peace and stability has maintained in the country, which makes the country safe for investment. He urged the Ethiopian-Israeli to invest in Ethiopia as the government is awaiting them with support. According to him, there many business people investing in the country, he said calling up on the Ethiopian-Israeli communities to invest in the country with the technologies they have acquired. The PM was also responding the questions raised by the participants who said they were allowed to gain a passport of Ethiopian-Israeli. He assured them that new regulation was enacted to respond the question of passport and it is solved. According to him, the government believes the importance of creating relation Ethiopian Jews in a new chapter. The Ethiopian-Israeli communities, which their number stood 140,000 this time were first airlifted to Israel in late 1900s. In the visit accompanied by first lady Roman Tesfaye and senior officials, PM is expected to strengthen the bilateral relation between two countries.(ENA)

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Jerusalem Film Scholarship Awarded to Business Student – The Media Line

Winner seeks to tell the stories of the disenfranchised On his college transcript, 24-year old Napthali Rosenberg seems like a typical college senior about to graduate with a degree in business administration. In reality, he has a far bigger plan to take that business degree and apply it to the world of filmmaking. Rosenberg is this years winner of a scholarship created by the Miami Jewish Film Festival that sends a Jewish South Florida student to Jerusalem for a six week workshop on filmmaking, from June 14 to July 25. I am beyond excited and grateful for this incredible opportunity I have been given, Rosenberg told The Media Line. Its really a dream program they have put together. When selecting a winner for the scholarship, the Miami Jewish Film Festival was seeking a student with an intense passion for filmmaking. While Rosenberg is going to Florida International University to receive a degree in business administration, his degree is all part of a larger plan focused around film. Rosenberg wants to open his own production company and he plans to use the skills he learned with his business degree to help him along the way. The logistics side is the most important part of creating a quality film piece, Rosenberg said. Having a clear, creative vision is very important, but is only half of the necessities in filmmaking. Acquiring finances, building and leading teams, marketing and distribution of a film project are what will tremendously help ensure the highest quality. Rosenberg was born in New York but moved to South Florida after less than two years. His mother is an African-American who converted to Judaism and his father is an Orthodox Jew associated with the Chabad movement of Hasidism. I have been deep in the Jewish community simultaneously as an insider and outsider, which has given me a unique perspective on Jewish culture, Rosenberg said. Rosenbergs diverse background caused him to stand out when he attended Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach, where he was the only student of African-American descent. Socially, I wasnt able to express myself the way I wanted to, Rosenberg said. He turned to various art forms such as writing, drawing, and painting to express himself at the time. It was not long until Rosenberg found the same solace in filmmaking. Rosenbergs film portfolio includes short films, advertisements for startup companies, and multiple business conferences. This week he is taking on the 48 Hour Film Project in Miami, an event where teams of filmmakers have a single weekend to write, shoot, and edit a short film. This summer, students of the Jerusalem Film Workshop will be tasked with creating one documentary film during their six week stay. Rosenberg plans to create a film focusing on the Ethiopian Jews that live in Israel. They [Ethiopians] have a large community in Israel and unless you travel there people dont realize that there is an African community of practicing Jews, Rosenberg said. I dont think their story has been told well. This film idea directly reflects Rosenbergs future plans in filmmaking. When he creates his own film production company, he hopes to focus on films that tell the story of the disenfranchised. I want to do all kinds of film but primarily I want to focus on the unheard voice and different minority groups that have overcome certain obstacles and didnt see themselves just as victims, Rosenberg said. For a second consecutive year, the Miami Jewish Film Festival has provided a full ride scholarship to the Jerusalem Film Workshop. Festival executive director Igor Shteyrenberg has developed the scholarship program over the last two years and he believes its purpose directly reflects what the festival stands for. This [scholarship] really spoke to our festivals core values, Shteyrenberg told The Media Line. Thats bridging cultural gaps, supplying tolerance and understanding, and giving fledgling filmmakers the opportunity to realize their dreams. Selecting a winner for the scholarship was a lengthy process in which a candidates previous work in film and commitment to filmmaking was analyzed, Shteyrenberg said. Over 150 candidates were vying for our scholarship and each of them showed tremendous potential, Shteyrenberg said. Ultimately, what distinguished Naphtali was his extraordinary burning passion and determination to fulfilling his film making dreams, his production experience, and extensive work-to-date. THOMAS CHILES is a student journalist with The Media Lines Press and Policy Student Program. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Media Line Ltd., it’s management, staff, advertisers and sponsors. The Media Line bears no responsibility for opinions and/or information appearing herein.

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Can an alphabet merging Hebrew and Arabic promote coexistence … – Haaretz

The alphabet, designed by an Israeli, is based on a fascinating discovery made by a French ophthalmologist in the 19th century Middle East peace may remain out of reach, but at least the Hebrew and Arabic languages have found a compromise. Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promote coexistence in Israel and beyond. I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich told JTA. That applies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also to Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world. Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook by Kan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday. I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenich said. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English she realized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read. For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found that people can read pretty well using only the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew. In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were! Based on this insight, Turkenich combined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules. Turkenich tested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned to Arab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv. Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she now has Arab friends who help. Aravrits letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for peace would say salaam on top and shalom on the bottom. Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravit into a writing system. She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style. The changes have given her the flexibility to craft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules. Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name. She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba. Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to the identities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed a bill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrys Jewish status and make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab. But Turkenich said her goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom. Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch. Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, she developed a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will be used for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews. Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up. Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today

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Why Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Is White – Forward

Wonder Woman is, shockingly, the first film in our current decade-plus superhero moment to feature a female lead. But while the film is pioneering in terms of gender representation, in other respects it is not especially innovative. The film does include some black Amazons, and a couple of POC, but the headline characters are white, and almost all the marketing has been centered on white people. The film may be a breakthrough for white women, but as far as women of color are concerned, it perpetuates the bleak superhero status quo. The whiteness of Wonder Woman doesnt seem up for debate. And yet, some have decided to debate it. An argument has been bubbling underground on social media that Gal Gadot, who plays the title role, is actually a person of color. It was aired in full by Matthew Mueller at comicbook.com. Gal Gadot is not actually Caucasian, but is in fact Israeli, Mueller announces confidently. He then goes on to chastise POC critics for not recognizing her casting as triumph for diverse representation. Mueller doesnt actually have much of an argument. He mentions a Times of Israel blog post which points to the history of Jewish oppression and waffles back and forth on whether Jews might be considered POC. But mostly Mueller just announces Gadot is Israeli! like a magician pulling a piece of lint out of a hat and trying to convince you its a rabbit. Mueller can get away with this slapdash approach because race is itself such an incoherent concept. Mueller argues that Caucasian equals white, as if whiteness is an actual ethnicity or regional background. But the truth is that whiteness isnt a biological or historical truth; its a fuzzy, culturally determined category that has fluctuated widely over time. At various historical moments and in various places, Irish people, Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans, and, of course, Jews, have been excluded from the category of white people. It may seem ridiculous to say that a nationality like Israeli is non-whitebut Donald Trump racialized the nationality of Mexicans during the 2016 campaign. Whiteness isnt a formally defined, logical system. Its a blunt instrument designed to enable some people to hurt others. As such, it doesnt have to be particularly elegant or well made. In this context, the best definition of white people is simply people who are considered white. Gadots nationality was not a secret; she wasnt passing as something other than Israeli. Mueller is arguing that when people see Gadot as white, they are wrong. But being white is really just a matter of what people see you as. People know Gadots background; they simply see that background as consistent with whiteness David Edelsteins bizarrely exoticizing comment that Israeli women are a breed unto themselves notwithstanding. For that matter, in Israel itself, Gadots skin color and European background protect her from the kind of discrimination faced by Ethiopian Jews, other dark-skinned Jews, and Palestinians. Among those who see Gadot as white are the Wonder Woman filmmakers. Gadot is Jewish and Israeli, but like the Jewish Scarlett Johansson Hollywood perceives her in terms of unpsecified whiteness. In the film, Wonder Womans mother is played by Connie Nielsen, a white Danish actor. Wonder Woman as a young girl is played (in a show-stealing turn) by white actress Lilly Aspell. Gadot got the role as Wonder Woman precisely because she is seen as an appropriate actor to play a character who has traditionally been white. In the movie itself, its clear that the other characters perceive Wonder Woman as white. The movie is set in World War I, a time when overt racism was even more acceptable than it is today. But when Wonder Woman crashes a high level military meeting, no one utters racial slurs or questions her whiteness. They are only scandalized because of her gender. One of Steve Trevors army buddies played by Said Taghmaoui discusses his experience of racial prejudice with Wonder Woman. During the discussion, he clearly does not think that she is likely to face the same kind of discrimination. Perhaps the clearest sign that Gadot is white, though, is Muellers own argument. The fact that some groups who were once seen as non-white have become white and successful is a constant talking point for people who dont want to deal with ongoing racism. Robert Kennedy famously pointed to the success of the Irish to deflect James Baldwins criticisms of racism in the United States. The very incoherence of whiteness becomes a way to defend whiteness. Our ideology makes no sense; therefore we cant actually be oppressing you is a ridiculous argument, but a consistently popular one. Gadot is white. But thats not to say that Jews face no discrimination. On the contrary, Gadots casting illustrates the quieter, ongoing failures of Jewish representation in superhero films. As Ive discussed here before, Hollywood seems constitutionally incapable of casting a Jewish actor to play a Jewish hero whose Jewishness is narratively acknowledged. Gadot can be Wonder Woman only if she sets aside her Jewishness as a visible identity. Heroism is only available as a reward for assimilation. Gadot is a great Wonder Woman; she brings humor, enthusiasm, and presence to the character. But her casting is not a triumph for POC representation. And its not, really, a triumph for Jewish representation. The Wonder Woman film challenges the idea that only men can be heroes. But it accepts the conventional wisdom that says that, to be a hero, you must disappear into whiteness. Thats a message that hurts people of color. And its a message that ultimately hurts Jews who are not people of color as well.

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June 3, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

An Israeli’s Alphabet Combines Hebrew And Arabic To Promote Understanding – Jewish Week

TEL AVIV (JTA) Middle East peace may remain out of reach, but at least the Hebrew and Arabic languages have found a compromise. Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promotecoexistence in Israel and beyond. I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich told JTA. Thatapplies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also toIsrael and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world. Diagrams showing how Aravrit combines Hebrew and Arabic letters. JTA Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook byKan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday. I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenichsaid. We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution. Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English sherealized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read. For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found thatpeople can read pretty well usingonly the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew. In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were! Examples of Aravit words hanging on display. JTA Based on this insight, Turkenichcombined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules.Turkenichtested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned toArab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv. Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she nowhas Arab friends who help. Aravrits letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for peace would say salaam on top and shalom on the bottom. Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravrit into a writing system.She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style.The changes have given her the flexibility tocraft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules. Liron Lavi Turkenich comparing produce in a video for her Aravit writing system. JTA Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name.She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba. Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to theidentities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed abill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrysJewish statusand make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab. Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them.Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch. But Turkenichsaidher goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom. Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch. Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, shedeveloped a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will beused for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews. Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

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June 3, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

An Israeli’s Alphabet Combines Hebrew And Arabic To Promote … – Jewish Week

TEL AVIV (JTA) Middle East peace may remain out of reach, but at least the Hebrew and Arabic languages have found a compromise. Israeli typography designer Liron Lavi Turkenich has created a stylized writing system that merges the two ancient alphabets, allowing Hebrew and Arabic speakers to read the same words. Her hope is that Aravrit will promotecoexistence in Israel and beyond. I believe Aravrit sends a message that were both here, and we might as well acknowledge each other, Turkenich told JTA. Thatapplies to Jews and Arab Israelis, but also toIsrael and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world. Diagrams showing how Aravrit combines Hebrew and Arabic letters. JTA Israelis have been receptive. Over 1 million people have watched a Hebrew-language video introducing Aravrit since it was posted last week on Facebook byKan, Israels new broadcasting authority. Dozens left positive comments. A version of the video with English subtitles was released Monday. I think maybe this explains the crazy success of the Hebrew video: We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution, Turkenichsaid. We can do something caring for the other side just by reading, without having a solution. Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic along with Hebrew and English sherealized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read. For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to live together, as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis mile Javal, who in the late 19th century found thatpeople can read pretty well usingonly the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew. In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters forms are near the bottom part, she said. When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half and they were! Examples of Aravit words hanging on display. JTA Based on this insight, Turkenichcombined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages respective rules.Turkenichtested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned toArab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv. Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes, she recalled, noting that she nowhas Arab friends who help. Aravrits letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for peace would say salaam on top and shalom on the bottom. Since graduating in 2012 from Shenkar, a college of engineering, design and art in Ramat Gan, Turkenich has further developed Aravrit into a writing system.She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style.The changes have given her the flexibility tocraft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules. Liron Lavi Turkenich comparing produce in a video for her Aravit writing system. JTA Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name.She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheba. Language of course can be a political issue in the Jewish state. Hebrew and Arabic both have sacred roots, and are central to theidentities at stake in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this month, Israeli ministers backed abill that would constitutionally enshrine the countrysJewish statusand make Hebrew the only official language, demoting Arabic from that status and, critics say, further marginalizing the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab. Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them.Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch. But Turkenichsaidher goal is to build on the languages, not subvert them. In Aravrit itself a hybrid of the Hebrew words for Arabic and Hebrew sentences follow the grammar rules of Arabic on top and Hebrew on the bottom, she noted, and the lettering retains the most prominent features of each script. A word like peace, for example, would read as salaam on top and shalom on bottom. Both Hebrew and Arabic have incredible histories. We should not erase them, she said. Its the same as the political situation: We cant start from scratch. Arabs are not the only Israeli minority group Turkenich is interested in. While earning a masters degree in typeface design from Englands University of Reading in 2015, shedeveloped a typeface called Makeda, the name Ethiopians use for the Queen of Sheba, which works for Amharic, Hebrew and Latin letters. She hopes it will beused for Israeli government and legal documents relevant to the countrys 135,000 Ethiopian Jews. Makeda is a little less idealistic than Aravrit, Turkenich said, laughing. That was me growing up.

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June 3, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed


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