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 unique programming raises awareness to the 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. Our main programs include:
A Speakers Bureau, composed of former Mizrahi and Sephardi refugees who visit local, national, and international organizations and institutions where they share their personal stories of flight and introduce audiences to the rich culture and history of Middle Eastern and North African Jews. From the U.N, to Harvard, to local High Schools in the Bay Area, the roster of institutions who have hosted JIMENA Speakers 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.