demonstrates diversity of Jewish opinion
Media Advisory -- November 7, 2005
As the United Jewish Communities holds their annual general meeting
in Toronto, another conference called '3D: Diversity, Democracy
and Dissent in the Jewish Community' offers a chance to hear
alternative Jewish voices.
*What*: A groundbreaking conference called '3D: Diversity, Democracy
and Dissent in the Jewish Community.'
*Where*: Metro Hall, 55 John Street (Council Chambers)
*When*: Sunday, November 13th, 2005, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
TORONTO, November 7, 2005 - As the United Jewish Communities (UJC)
- an umbrella organization representing 155 federations and 400
independent Jewish communities across North America - meets for
their Annual General Assembly (AGM) in Toronto this November, another
collection of Jewish groups will be staging a parallel conference
on diversity and dissent.
'3D: Diversity, Democracy and Dissent,' is a one day teach-in that
will take place Sunday, November 13th on the same weekend as the
UJC meeting. Organized by a coalition of Canadian Jewish groups,
the teach-in will feature performances, films, panel discussions
and workshops on a variety of issues affecting the Jewish community.
"We see this as vital opportunity to amplify progressive Jewish
voices for peace and justice so that they can be heard throughout
the Jewish world," says conference organizer Sheryl Nestel.
"There is a false perception that Jews speak with one voice
on every issue. We have organized this teach-in to highlight the
diversity of opinion in the Jewish community."
The teach-in is also an opportunity for activists in the Jewish
community to get together and strategize around a number of issues
including Israel's continuing occupation of Palestinian lands, disability
and access in Jewish life, and other issues of diversity in the
Jewish community. Workshops and panels include campus activism,
morally responsible investment, and Israel's separation wall. "Many
Jews are concerned about Israeli policies. Anti-occupation Jewish
voices often don't make it into the press," says Nestel. "Here
is a chance to hear those voices."
Today, progressive Jewish groups have dozens of regional chapters
in Canada and the US and respond to a variety of issues and concerns.
(For a list of organizations in Canada and the US, please see visit
conference website at www.3djewishteach-in.ca)
"There has always been strong progressive sentiment in US and
Canadian Jewish communities," says Nestel. "Today, we
are seeing an absolute renaissance of progressive Jewish organizing
around many issues, including Israel and Palestine. Everyone needs
to realize the incredible diversity of Jewish groups and opinions."
For more information and a complete list of activities and speakers,
please visit: www.3djewishteach-in.ca
To interview speakers, filmmakers, performers and conference organizers,
please contact: Sheryl Nestel at 416-658-3135
Below please find selected speaker biographies.
Meir Amor was born in Israel in 1955 to parents who immigrated
to Israel from Morocco. He served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF)
for six years and left the army as a Captain in 1979. Meir studied
in Tel-Aviv University where he completed his BA and MA in sociology.
In 1988 he refused to serve in the Occupied Territories and was
jailed for 21 days in a military prison for disobedience. In 1990,
he started his PhD at
the University of Toronto. His PhD dissertation is titled: "State
Persecution and Vulnerability: A Comparative Historical Analysis
of Violent Ethnocentrism". In it he compares two cases of expulsions
and two cases of genocide. He is a Canadian citizen of choice. In
2000, Meir started teaching sociology at Concordia University. He
teaches racial and ethnic relations, a comparative course on Quebec
and Israel, a course on violent ethnocentrism and a course on sociology
of religion. Currently he is part of the organizing committee for
the 2006 Convivencia conference that will take place in Montreal.
The idea behind this initiative -- coming from the Jewish Moroccan
community in Montreal -- is to transform Montreal into the 'New
Cordova' of the Spanish Golden Age of the 10th to the 12th century.
The suggestion is presented to the Canadian society, the Québécois
population and to the diverse cultural communities composing Canada,
Quebec and Montreal.
Sharon Angel lives in Ottawa where she works as a Senior
Officer in the Research and Job Evaluation Branch of the Canadian
Union of Public Employees.Sharon has a particular interest in peace
and reconciliation efforts made by individuals and grass roots organizations,
especially within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
To this end, she is an original member of an Arab-Jewish dialogue
group that has been meeting for 3 years. The photographs of Bethlehem
and the Separation Wall which will be on display at the Teach-In
were taken by her in September 2005 during a 3-day visit hosted
by Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian peace organization.
Daniel Thau-Eleff will be performing a selection from his
one-man show *Three Ring Circus <www.threering.ca>*.
The three "rings," or themes of the show, in addition
to those in the title, are the Jewish religion (what does it mean
to be Jewish?), Middle-East activism (how is a Jewish Winnipegger
connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?) and Girls (those
mysterious and enticing creatures!). The play discusses politics,
religion, romance, family, email list-serves, dreams, fantasies,
sex (or lack thereof
) and how we get along with other people.Three
Ring Circus is written from a distinctly Jewish and anti-Occupation
perspective. However, its message is universal. Three Ring Circus
is, at its heart, a communication between the performer/storyteller
and the audience. The audience feels like they are sitting in Daniel's
living room, if not right inside his head. Together they gain insight
into the thoughts and experiences that we all share, whatever our
cultural or political background.
b.h. Yael is a Toronto based video and installation artist.
She is Professor and Chair of Integrated Media at the Ontario College
of Art and Design. Yael's work has exhibited nationally and internationally
and has shown in various settings, from festivals to galleries to
various educational venues. Her work has also been purchased by
several universities. These include "Fresh Blood, A Consideration
of Belonging", and the "Approximations" series produced
with Johanna Householder. Recent titles a "hot sandfilled wind,
Even in the Desert", "sites of solidarity in Israel/Palestine"
and "Deir Yassin Remembered" comprise/ Palestine Trilogy
<trilogy.html>/, three videos that focus on activist initiatives
of recognition. b.h. Yael's videos are distributed by V Tape
Ronnee Jaeger is a resident of both Canada and Israel and
is a founding member of Machsom Watch - a women's organization that
monitors the behaviour of soldiers and police at Israeli checkpoints
in order to
ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians attempting
to enter Israel are protected
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