JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa is a 501 (c) 3 organization headquartered in San Francisco, CA that is dedicated to the preservation of Mizrahi and Sephardi culture and history, and seeks recognition for the nearly one million Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa who were displaced from their country of origin in the 20th century. JIMENA endeavors to address the existing gaps in the historical narrative of the Middle East and North Africa by sharing the Mizrahi and Sephardi story of oppression, plight and displacement.

Founded in 2001, JIMENA has been a leader of the Jewish multicultural movement by representing Jews from Arab lands. We have provided a platform for marginalized indigenous Middle Eastern and North African Jews to celebrate and share their rich cultural traditions and compelling histories with diverse populations throughout North America. Our efforts raise awareness to the recent oppression and displacement experienced by nearly one million Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews in the last 60 years. JIMENA carries out its programs in college campuses, community centers, high schools, synagogues & churches, private homes & clubs, and public institutes in the Bay Area and in other North American regions and cities. JIMENA Operates through:

A Speakers Bureau composed of former Mizrahi and Sephardi refugees who visit local, national, and international organizations and institutions where they share their story of flight and introduce the audience to the rich culture and history of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews. From the U.N to Harvard to local High Schools in the Bay Area the roster of institutions visited by the Bureau is impressive and has been effective in raising awareness to this history and culture of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA). All members of the Bureau undergo professional Speakers Training before sharing their story with an audience.

Visual History Project aims to collect as many video testimonies of former refugees as possible. The testimonies will be used to expand JIMENA’s archives and will be incorporated into an interactive, educational website. Each year JIMENA donates copies of its archives to national and international organizations and institutions to increase public access to information surrounding the associated topic. JIMENA’s long term goal is to create a unique documentary using the video testimonies that are currently being collected by professional interviewers and videographers around the world.

Cultural Programming events such as Mimouna Celebrations, Mizrahi Shabbaton, Cooking Classes, and Henna Ceremonies increase public awareness to Mizrahi and Sephardi culture. It is through this kind of programming that members of the general public can have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich culture of Middle Eastern and North African Jewry.

For more information please visit our main website: www.jimena.org