Israeli Consulate’s Tribute to Black History Month Kicks-Off With Oakland Mayor Jean Quan at Oakland City Hall
Oakland, C.A. (February 8, 2011) – 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 Ethoipian-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.
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