Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tell your children' project collects refugee stories

  Berta Wizgan from Tunisia tells her story to student Bar Dubinsky

An initiative backed by the Ministry for Senior Citizens, one of the prime movers in the campaign for recognition for Jewish refugees from Arab countries, is sending schoolchildren out to interview veteran immigrants in Israel. It's called 'Tell your children', after the Passover Haggadah reference. Israel Hayom reports: (With thanks: Michelle; Lily)

Justice cannot be done to the following story in just a few words because it contains the history of a whole generation. High school students and volunteers in Migdal Haemek have recently taken part in a unique project called "Tell Your Children" (a reference to the Passover Haggadah), which documents the stories of veteran immigrants in Israel who came from Arab countries.

"Our aliyah was full of turbulence. We moved from place to place until we got to Migdal Haemek, where there were just a few people at the time," said Berta Wizgan, 70. She and her parents settled in the northern town after immigrating from Tunisia following the establishment of the State of Israel. A few days ago, Wizgan was visited by Bar Dubinsky, a 12th-grade student at the ORT Rogozin school who wanted to document her story. 

"Apartments back then were built like trains and we had to live with people who had different cultures and came from different places," Wizgan told Dubinsky. 

"When I was 12, I decided to go to work on a farm, but this decision was difficult to make because my parents were very traditional," she said, recalling the difficulty she faced when she wanted to work and then join the army.

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