African Exodus: The Story and the Film
Since 2005, sixty thousand non-Jewish Africans, primarily from Sudan and Eritrea, have fled the wars and dictatorships of their home countries and made their way through Egypt and the Sinai desert into Israel, the Jewish homeland. These Africans, mostly refugees and asylum seekers, have risked their lives in the hope of finding a safe haven until they can return home. Paradoxically, they are considered “infiltrators” in a country that was founded by and for refugees – Jewish refugees – but is unprepared and seemingly unwilling to handle this wave of Africans.
Recognizing that it cannot send the Africans back to their home countries, the government of Israel keeps them in limbo, not allowing them to work legally. With the numbers of homeless, jobless Africans on the rise, tensions are growing in the poor neighborhoods where they’ve settled. While the State gropes for an adequate solution to this humanitarian crisis, Israel’s civil society has stepped into the breach and is invoking Jewish and humanitarian values to help people in need. African Exodus, a documentary film, chronicles this issue and sheds light on the largely hidden world of Israel’s African refugees.
Ameinu, Charitable Partner in the Distribution of African Exodus
The distributors of African Exodus are partnering with Ameinu (Our People), a liberal Zionist organization comprised of progressive North American Jews committed to peace and economic justice around the world. Ameinu promotes a secure peace between Israel and its neighbors, particularly the Palestinians, and has a deep partnership with the Israeli social justice movement to foster democracy, human rights and coexistence. Ameinu will receive a portion of all proceeds from African Exodus screenings.
Help Ameinu by Organizing a Screening of African Exodus
African Exodus is being distributed by DigiNext, a leading distributor of feature films and documentaries. To arrange a screening of the film in your local theater, community center, synagogue or private residence, please contact Fran Siednicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filmmaker Brad Rothschild’s Blog Posts (click on embedded links):
Ameinu’s Statements on this Issue:
Background News and Views:
|“Do not oppress the stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger,
having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9)Ameinu, as committed progressive Zionists, are deeply engaged with Israeli NGOs and political leaders to help build an Israeli society that fulfills its finest values of social justice, economic opportunity, equality and peace. In recent years, one issue of grave concern has been the Israeli government’s inability to address the influx of asylum seekers, mostly from Africa, in a humane and effective manner.
As part of this campaign, Ameinu is supporting the Zionist Union’s proposed bill to rehabilitate south Tel Aviv, redistribute Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers throughout Israel, and regularize their status for the next five years.This bill would address many of the pressing challenges facing the residents of south Tel Aviv, and grant Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers currently residing in Israel many of the rights which they deserve. We believe this bill will improve the quality of life of Israeli citizens and asylum seekers alike, and help Israel in the realization of her commitments to her citizens and inhabitants as enshrined in her Declaration of Independence, and in the spirit of Jewish ethics and international law. If passed, we will do what we can to support the implementation of this law and the development of Israel and south Tel Aviv.
Please join Ameinu and our partner organizations in letting Israel know that you want to see legislation Supporting Asylum Seekers and Israelis enacted in the Knesset.
Lend your voice to this campaign
Israeli government to refugees: Go back to Africa or go to prison (Washington Post)
Israel Needs African Migrants, So Why Is It Expelling Them? (Bloomberg Business)
Refugees in Israel (African Refugee Development Center)