Mizrahi Remembrance Month
November marks Mizrahi Remembrance Month: a time to commemorate the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled or forced to flee from their homes in the Middle East and North Africa between 1948-1980. Until this point, Jewish communities had been living in the region for over 2,500 years. While this history is known among the Mizrahi and Sephardi community, their narrative has rarely been documented, and their plight as refugees has largely been ignored by the global community.
Whether you want to connect more deeply to your roots or discover the flavors of the greater Jewish diaspora, OneTable is here for it. Over the last five years, many OneTable hosts have created Mizrahi and Sephardi-inspired Shabbats that have introduced their guests to Jewish culture and history from the MENA (Middle East, North Africa). And while gathering around the dinner table looks different right now, there are still tons of ways to honor Mizrahi Remembrance Month. But it doesn’t stop come December — we encourage you to keep learning, hosting, and using these resources to celebrate Mizrahi culture and heritage all year long!
Mizrahi Remembrance Month FAQ
Who are Mizrahi Jews?
Mizrahim (plural in Hebrew for Mizrahi) are descendants of Jews who had been living in the MENA region continuously for thousands of years. Mizrahim trace their lineage to countries including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. Today, there are thriving Mizrahi communities throughout Israel, the US, and beyond. Outside of Israel, Morocco has the largest remaining Jewish community in the MENA, with over 3,000 Jewish residents (prior to 1948, there were over 200,000).
I don’t identify as Mizrahi, can I still host or join a Mizrahi Remembrance Month Dinner?
Yes! Hosting or guesting is a great opportunity to experience and learn about Jewish foods, cultures and traditions that might be different than what you grew up with, or what you’ve done at your past dinners. Our Mizrahi Remembrance Month Shabbat supplement is a great place to start.
Can I host more than once this Mizrahi Remembrance Month?
Yes! You’re welcome to host as often as you want. Registered OneTable hosts are eligible to receive Nourishment credit for one dinner per week.
To host a dinner honoring the month and celebrate together, tag it using #MizrahiShabbat.
When does my dinner need to be posted?
Shabbat dinners must be posted on the platform by 11:59p local time on the Tuesday before the dinner.
What is Nourishment?
It’s a resource OneTable is able to offer to those hosts who need a little extra help to elevate their dinners. It is not meant to cover the full cost of the dinner. It comes in the form of digital gift cards. If you do not need this assistance, you can choose to “pay it forward” and it will help another host bring more Shabbat into their life!
Dinners are eligible for $10/per person, up to $100.
Nourishment must be selected by 11:59p local time Tuesday, and you will be nourished for the number of guests you have signed up by the Wednesday before your dinner.
OneTable & Partner Resources
Listen: "I'm the Mizrahi" - Adi Keissar's New Wave of Mizrahi Poetry
Adi Keissar, an Israeli poet of Yemenite descent, is the founder of the popular Ars Poetica, a project which initiated a new wave of Mizrahi poetry for the masses in the form of readings combined with Middle Eastern music and dancing.
Explore: ASF Institute of Jewish Experience
The American Sephardi Federation’s Institute of Jewish Experience explores the beauty, depth, and diversity of the Jewish experience. Check out their courses and video clips to learn more about the legacy of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewry, from holidays to Jewish philosophy.
Community Events to Know About
Nov 15 | The Voice of the Mothers: A Look into Sephardi Feminist Approaches to Tradition
This talk will explore the experiences of Sephardi women who are building a feminist discourse that speaks the language of Sephardi tradition, diving into the experiences of the members of the Mizrahi-feminist Beit Midrash Arevot in Jerusalem.
Nov 30 | Reclaiming Identity
Jews across the world will share personal experiences of their families who left Arab countries & Iran. We will discuss questions such as: What is my true identity? How does my family narrative coexist within the greater Jewish world? Why, when, and how did I reclaim my heritage?
Dec 5 | Eid Al-Banat
Bringing together female Mizrahi talents to virtually celebrate North African Jewish traditions, female leadership, music, dance, and so much more. The North African holiday of Eid Al-Banat (The Festival of Daughters, in Judeo-Arabic), or Hag HaBanot (Hebrew) honors the story of Jewish heroines like Judith and Queen Esther and the important role of women in Jewish life until today.