Why a Mizrahi Jew loved Dumisani’s Seder

Educated in a missionary school, Rachel Wahba had a negative impression of churches and pastors. But Pastor Dumisani Washington and his Mizrahi Project changed all that (with thanks: Lily)

As a Zionist Mizrahi Jew, I long to be in an environment where the Mizrahi exodus into Israel matters. The church seder opened with a clip from The Mizrahi Project, where Joe, an Iraqi Jew tells his story of surviving the Farhud, Baghdad’s pogrom, and eventual expulsion.

Rachel Wahba: ‘ugly Jew’



When a pastor goes to such lengths to develop and preserve the trajectory of Jews from Arab lands in the service of understanding Israel as a national liberation movement for all Jews, the personal becomes very political.

If it wasn’t for Dumisani, I doubt I would have found myself at a church celebrating the first night of Pesach. Historically the Last Supper doesn’t hold good memories for me. As a stateless Jew at Stella Maris, Easter was the worst time. We studied the painful pictures of Jesus carrying his cross up Calvary. I became the ugly Jew who convinced the Romans to kill Jesus. And to make matters worse, I was the unremorseful Jew who refused to be baptized out of Judaism.

I am no longer the murdering Jew in a Catholic missionary school, and no one here is trying to convert me or Israel. I am a Mizrahi activist and I love Pastor Dumisani Washington as should every Zionist Jew. His awareness and activism as a Zionist who understands the importance of teaching the Mizrahi experience needs to spread to the larger Jewish community.

He is doing what I have longed for from my rabbis — to incorporate the modern-day Mizrahi exodus out of Arab lands into the Jewish/Israeli narrative. To correct the destructive anti-Zionist rant that Israel is a European settler enterprise.

 

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

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