Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 2: JPOST reporter Mandel sheds light on Emmanuel affair

After hearing from a series of scholars and rabbis last night and today, this afternoon the Jerusalem Post’s religious affairs reporter, Jonah Mandel, spent time with us to give new insights into the everyday life of Sephardim and especially religious Sephardim living in Israel.

Mandel shed light on the contentious Emmanuel affair that has been unfolding during the last three years. The case involves religious Sephardic Jewish children from the “Slonim” sect in the small and poor Israeli city of Emmanuel who were allegedly victims of racial discrimination by religious Ashkenazi faculty members of their “Bet Yacov” school. As a result, the parents of these children sued the State of Israel for racial discrimination since the government fully funds the school and did not take measures to prevent the discrimination. Ultimately the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents and ordered an end to the discrimination, but the case had other “interesting” twists and turns that I won’t get into but can be read in Mandel’s recent piece in the Jerusalem Post.

After his discussion with us, I sat down with Mandel for this brief interview where he sheds light on the status of religious Sephardic Jews living in Israel…

-- Karmel Melamed

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