This story has some tangential connection to the current holiday season, as Jews observe Sukkot by eating meals under a temporary, vulnerable structure known as a sukkah, in part commemorating the Biblical Exodus from Egypt. This is from a New Jersey Jewish News report on a Sept. 17 Westfield, NJ screening of Brad Rothschild’s film, African Exodus:
His documentary, a DigiNEXT Films production, depicts the challenges facing 40,000 mostly Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel — non-Jews variously referred to as refugees, undocumented immigrants, and asylum seekers. It includes profiles of and interviews with a number of the men, and with Israeli activists advocating for more humane and “Jewish” policies for absorbing them. On the other side are politicians who view the Africans as economic migrants looking for work and not, with rare exceptions, as refugees. Yelling protestors are seen calling for the expulsion of the “infiltrators.”
The filmmaker, Rothschild, is Ameinu’s chair for policy and advocacy. The article concludes with this on PPI’s board member, Phyllis Bernstein:
In the audience was Phyllis Bernstein, a Westfield resident who will serve as a delegate to the World Zionist Congress in October, where she will present a resolution calling for more humane treatment of the migrants. Like her, Rothschild is calling for better — and more timely — processing of the African migrants, to ascertain who can safely return home and who merits support in a state that knows well the plight of the world’s dispersed.