Programs throughout the Bay Area in February will celebrate the rich history, culture, and traditions of African diversity, as experienced in Israel
OAKLAND, CA – This month, in tribute to Black History Month, the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest is partnering with local organizations to bring prominent performers, artists, speakers, and exhibitions to Northern California showcasing Ethiopian Jewish contributions to Israeli society. The month-long celebration premiers with the opening of the Ethiopian-Israeli Amulets art exhibition at Oakland City Hall, on display outside the Mayor’s office through February.
“Black History Month is a chance for us all to recognize the fight for justice and equality,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “This Ethiopian-Israeli exhibition is quite interesting for those, like me, who have first-hand knowledge of the immigrant experience in the Bay Area, and who work to improve immigrant communities in Northern California, while preserving their traditional cultures and values.”
Akiva Tor, Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Northwest, helped spearhead the efforts to give residents of Northern California the opportunity to experience Black History Month, from an Israeli perspective.
“Israel is fortunate to be home to more than one hundred thousand Israeli Ethiopian Jews who have enriched Israel’s politics, music, theater and art,” said Consul General Tor. “We are thrilled to bring representations of all of these to Oakland and the greater Bay Area as part of our tribute to Black History Month 2011.”
Events for the Israeli Consulate’s tribute to Black History Month, which take place at venues across the greater Bay Area, include screenings of two critically-acclaimed films about Ethiopian immigration and communities in Israel, and theater productions by renowned Ethiopian-Israeli performers – including Teret Teret, a comical play about three Ethiopian immigrants who attempt to adjust to their new surroundings in Israel, connecting through their culture, music, and stories from the past.
“Black History Month is not only a time to celebrate the significant progress our country has made, but to also reflect on lessons learned in the struggle to provide equal opportunity,” said San Jose City Councilmember, Ash Kalra. “I thank the Jewish community of Silicon Valley for hosting the production of Teret Teret by the Hullegeb Ethiopian-Israeli Theater. This is a fantastic way to honor Black History Month and to celebrate African heritage and culture.”
Mr. Shlomo Molla, a prominent member of the Israeli Knesset, will take part in a panel discussion on equality, immigrant rights, and social justice with noted social activist and religious leader, Rev. Amos C. Brown. Mr. Molla will also be appearing at UC Berkeley to lecture about immigration, and tell his story of about leaving Ethiopia as a child, immigrating to Israel, and becoming an elected member of government.
Exhibitions on display feature the Amulets art and crafts exhibit created by women from Ethiopia who immigrated to Israel, and a photo exposition entitled “Scenes from Haiti,” depicting aid efforts in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the lives impacted by that event.
For a complete schedule of events, please see below, or visit: israeliconsulate.org.
AMULETS EXHIBITION – TRADITIONAL ETHIOPIAN ART
February 2 – 28, 2011
Oakland City Hall – 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 3rd floor, Oakland, 94612
In tribute to Black History month, the Israeli Consulate, in conjunction with Clay-Artisan Inc and Oakland City Hall, are pleased to present an exhibition of handmade tapestries by women from Ethiopia who immigrated to Israel. The Amulets Exhibition was produced at the Almaz factory in Lod, Israel and is based on traditional Ethiopian styles. Almaz factory had two main goals when first established: to provide livelihood for Ethiopian women who had a difficult time finding employment in the modern Israeli market, and to preserve and nurture the foundations of traditional Ethiopian art.
The exhibition will be opened the public throughout the month of February in Oakland City Hall.
Photo Exhibit: SCENES FROM HAITI
February 6 – 18
UC Santa Cruz – Stevenson Event Center – 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, 95064
February 19 – 28
3rd Baptist Church – 1399 McAllister Street, San Francisco, 94115
Within four days of Haiti’s devastating earthquake on January 12, 2009, Israeli Medical personnel were on the ground, coordinating recovery efforts from a fully operational field hospital. In reflection of those events, “Scenes from Haiti” pays tribute to the lives that were affected, portraying remarkable scenes of people and places on the island, in the aftermath of the quake.
Film Screening: LIVE AND BECOME
Thursday, February 10, 6pm
African American Museum and Library – 659 14th Street, Oakland, 94612
An award-winning film about an Ethiopian boy who disguises himself as a Jew in order to escape famine, and then immigrates to Israel.
“Fundamental issues of ethnic and religious identity and the agony of exile are at the heart of “Live and Become,” an intermittently compelling swatch of recent Israeli history filtered through the experience of an African immigrant.” – New York Times
Presented in partnership with the East Bay Jewish Film Festival.
Theater Performance: LEVADA (On Her Own)
Tuesday, February 15, 7pm
Hillel at Stanford University, 565 Mayfield Ave, Stanford, 94305
A monodrama based on the life story of a single mother of Ethiopian origin, who attempts to find true love through the internet. In contemplating the comic-tragic absurdity of her life, she longs for her childhood in Ethiopia, and attempts to re-examine her failed marriage.
Theater Performance: TERET TERET
Wednesday, February 16, 7pm
Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley – 14855 Oka Rd. Los Gatos, 95032
Thursday, February 17, 7:30pm
Temple Sinai – 2808 Summit Street, Oakland, 94609
Teret Teret showcases humorous Ethiopian stories presented through motion and music. The performance is both exciting and funny, with live vocals accompanied by well-known Ethiopian Israeli musician Abate Berihon. At the center of the play are three immigrants who attempt to adjust to their new surroundings in Israel and connect to each other through their culture, music, and stories from the past.
Panel Discussion: EQUALITY AND PLURALISM IN TWO SOCIETIES with Dr. Amos C. Brown, Senior Pastor, 3rd Baptist Church and Mr. Shlomo Molla, Member of Israeli Knesset
Wednesday, February 23, 6:30pm
3rd Baptist Church – 1399 McAllister Street, San Francisco, 94115
Dr. Brown, a highly respected religious and community leader, has a long and distinguished history of fighting for equality and social justice. MK Molla, the only Ethiopian Member of Israel’s parliament, is a staunch advocate for immigrant rights and pluralism. Together, they will discuss religion, the fight for equality and justice, human rights and values in Israel and the United States. This event coincides with the showing of the photo exhibition “Scenes from Haiti”, on display February 19-28 at 3rd Baptist Church.
About the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest
The Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest is the official representation of the State of Israel in Pacific Northwest United States, serving Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The Consulate is responsible for coordinating initiatives and relationships with national and local organizations in the Pacific Northwest region, offices of public officials, businesses and citizens, and providing consular services for Israeli citizens living in the region. More information is available at israeliconsulate.org.
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