June 28, 2011

Bialik-Rogozin School exterior gives a sneak preview of its interior

Sigal Rozen, Public Policy Coordinator at Hotline for Migrant Workers,
starts tours of migrant workers' and refugees' homes
outside the school where their children attend
In South Tel Aviv, the inner-city Bialik-Rogozin School broadcasts human dignity and safety even to casual passersby on the street. Contiguous life-size color photographs of students wrap the school's security wall, transforming the building's exterior message of prison-like anonymity to welcome and opportunity. Inside, in grades K-12, more than 800 children of Israelis and of migrant workers, refugees, and asylum seekers from 48 countries build community as they learn to respect self and others, celebrate diversity, and advance in academic subjects. 

A film about the School, Strangers No More, captured the Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category, in 2011.

First we shape our buildings, then they shape us.
Winston Churchill, 1943

Bialik-Rogozin School
Ha-Aliya 49
Tel Aviv, Israel 66041
Tel. 03-668-3802
(from abroad ++972-3-668-3802)

My related posts
At Bialik-Rogozin School, shooting baskets with Josh Gomes
In Tel Aviv: Levinsky Park 

June 05, 2011

Breaking Into Israel: my Eritrean hero Kidane Isaac

My Eritean friends (L to R) Kidane Isaac, Filamon Juenist, and Domoz
 Bereket. Behind me, American pal Josh Gomes (Levinsky Park, Tel Aviv)

Update | Wedding in Jaffa, Israel: Kidane Isaac and Laurie Lijnders

In the Sinai, thousands of Eritreans fleeing conscription, torture, and conflict in their East African homeland risk being shot by border guards and held ransom by people smugglers as they try to get to Israel for safe harbor.

Kidane Isaac, my gentle friend, courageous community leader, and Eritrean asylum seeker in Tel Aviv inspires me daily to act on the Torah injunction (Leviticus 19:34) —

כְּאֶזְרָח מִכֶּם יִהְיֶה לָכֶם הַגֵּר הַגָּר אִתְּכֶם, וְאָהַבְתָּ לוֹ כָּמוֹךָ כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם

Treat foreign residents living among you as your native-born. Love each one as yourself because you were foreigners in Egypt.

British public-TV station Channel 4 profiled Kidane in this short article, “Breaking into Israel: Local Hero.”

Resources
No country for refugees, article on The Refugee Voice, in Haaretz newspaper, April 15, 2011

The African Refugee Development Center
Founded in 2004 by refugees and Israelis to help refugees and asylum seekers in Israel, ARDC provides community services and lobbies for fairer policies towards refugees.
Email: info@ardc-israel.org

The Hotline for Migrant Workers
Founded in 1998, HMW is a non-partisan, not for profit organization promoting undocumented migrant workers' and refugees' rights, and eliminating human trafficking in Israel.
Email: info@hotline.org.il

Organization for Aiding Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel
Founded in 2007, ASSAF is a non-profit organization that provides support and runs programs to protect and strengthen the African refugee community in Israel.
Email: assafaid@gmail.com