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Gina Waldman

JIMENA Contributes Briefs on the Plight of Jewish Refugees to the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

April 30, 2013

San Francisco- JIMENA, a San Francisco based non-profit organization has submitted two briefs to the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for their May 7th hearing on Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. In the briefs, JIMENA calls on the Canadian government to pass legislation ordering Canadian diplomats to use the voice, vote and influence of the Government of Canada to incorporate the issue of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa into all discussions and negotiations involving the issue of Middle Eastern refugees.

Gina Waldman, president and co-founder of JIMENA was invited to provide testimony at the hearing on Jewish refugees. “I’m thrilled that the Canadian government is considering advancing the issue of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. The JIMENA community recommends that the Committee of Foreign Affairs and international Development forward a resolution to the House of Commons similar to United States House Resolution 185,” she said.

The US Congress passed legislation in 2008 known as House Resolution 185 declaring that for any comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible and enduring, the agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of all refugees, including Jews, Christians and other populations, displaced from countries in the Middle East.

The briefs include passages from the personal narratives of JIMENA members from seven different Arab countries collected over the course of JIMENA’s oral history project as well as the personal story of JIMENA president Gina Waldman whose family escaped Libya in the aftermath of Israel’s Six Day War in 1967.

JIMENA was founded during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Gina Waldman and Joe Wahad, a Jewish woman born in Libya and a Jewish man born in Egypt. Both Waldman and Wahad wanted to share their personal stories of religious persecution, displacement, material loss and successful immigration to empower both student and adult audiences with a deeper and nuanced understanding of the problems facing the Middle East and North Africa region. Of JIMENA’s 10,000 members, roughly 20% are former Jewish Refugees from nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
For further information please contact:
Sarah Levin
Executive Director
JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa
(415) 626-5062
[email protected],

JIMENA, a San Francisco based organization, was created to raise awareness to the one million forgotten refugees from North Africa and the Middle East.

Find us online to learn more:

JIMENA Algerian Experience

JIMENA Egyptian Experience

JIMENA Iranian Experience

JIMEA Iraqi Experience

JIMENA Lebanese Experience

JIMENA Libyan Experience

JIMENA Moroccan Experience

JIMENA Syrian Experience

JIMENA Tunisian Experience

JIMENA Turkish Experience

JIMENA Yemenite Experience



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

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