|NIFC Events 2011|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
Gershom Gorenberg, American-born Israeli historian, journalist and blogger, was in Toronto to speak with a group of NIFC supporters. Gorenberg, who was on a North American tour to publicize his new book The Unmaking of Israel, stressed the need to “remake” Israel so that the “unintended consequences” of various historical decisions - from the occupation enterprise to the privileged status of ultra-orthodox men - are dealt with. Gorenberg thanked the Association for Civil Rights in Israel for helping him access information for The Unmaking of Israel. Gorenberg was very warmly received and responded to the very thoughtful, educated questions from those attending.
For full event coverage, photos and videos, click here.
Edeet Ravel: The Last Rain Book Launch
Award-winning Israeli-Canadian author Edeet Ravel, along-time supporter of NIFC, launched her newest book, The Last Rain with New Israel Fund of Canada and over 40 guests in Toronto. Ravel was interviewed by Derek Penslar, Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto. Inspired by Ravel’s youth on a kibbutz, The Last Rain is a coming of age story of a young girl and a country in its early fraught years of existence. Ravel has written her experience as a magical, fictionalized memoir of the early years of Kibbutz Eldar, illustrated by Ravel and Penslar through their discussions and illuminating visuals.
Daniel Sokatch in Toronto
New Israel fund CEO Daniel Sokatch spoke to 150 people in Toronto about the work of New Israel Fund and its dedication to realizing Israel as a state that is equal for all its citizens. Sokatch commented on the lack of connection between young North Americans and Israel, as Israel does not seem to exemplify their liberal, progressive values. Sokatch illustrated this point by using examples of anti-democratic trends currently developing in Israel in areas such as religious pluralism and minority rights. With great optimism and inspiration, Sokatch illustrated the work of NIF and how it works to create the Israel that liberal, progressive North Americans have always wanted- an Israel at peace with itself, in addition to its neighbors.
Click here to watch the video of Loving Israel in Complicated Times.
Between Two Worlds, a new film which had its world premiere at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, takes on the passionate debates over identity and generational change inside today’s American Jewish community. Daniel Sokatch appears in the film, representing both the San Francisco Federation (as former Executive Director) and New Israel Fund. Sokatch spoke after the film on a panel discussing, “Who speaks for the Jewish community?” Co-panelists were Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow, the filmmakers of Between Two Worlds and Lori Starr, Executive Director of Koffler Centre of the Arts.
Israel & Comics: Beyond Black and White
While comics are often drawn in black and white, the work in the touring exhibition Graphic Details shows that the relationship of North American Jews to Israel is anything but.
On the evening before Passover, more than forty people gathered at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto to view the exhibit Graphic Details and to discuss the struggles artists depict when confronting their relationship with Israel.
Dan Friedman, Arts and Culture Editor of the Forward, hosted the discussion using the comics as catalysts for discussion about difficult issues. The group explored Zionist stereotypes, the right of Diaspora Jews to criticize Israel and institutions that shape our relationship with Israel.
From artists depicting their Birthright trips to women in post-Holocaust Israel, the experiences depicted in the comics mirrored contemporary struggles, and reflected the intensity with which we relate to Israel. The group was inspired by the courage of the artists which created an open space for others to express their thoughts about Israel.
New Israel Fund of Canada was proud to launch author Lesley Simpson's new children's book, Yuvi's Candy Tree, based on Ethiopian-Israeli acitvist Yuvi Tashome's life. Yuvi, in Toronto to participate in a very special seder for NIFC, met Lelsey, who was then inspired to tell Yuvi's story. With a book reading, candy tree craft and a video-interview of Yuvi, great fun was had by all.
February 10, 2011
NIFC New Generations Canada partnered with Yalla Journal to present NIF Board Member Nabila Espanioly in downtown Toronto. With a crowd of over 40 people and standing room only, Nabila spoke about her life as a Palestinian-Israeli and the challenges she has faced throughout her life, all which have compelled her to establish many civil society organization in Israel. A fervent feminist, advocate for Palestinian-Israeli preschool children and citizens, Nabila spoke about the impact her work has had on her community and addressed the work that lies ahead.