Jewish Journal


July 28, 2010

Webcasts: Insights into Emmanuel affair and Halevi rocks with Israeli music



Israeli journalist Yossi Klein Halevi

Yesterday the Los Angeles participants of the Sephardic Educational Center’s summer seminar in Jerusalem heard lectures from two prominent Israeli journalists Jonah Mandel and Yossi Klein Halevi about different aspects of Sephardic life in Israel today.

Mandel, who has been covering the contentious Emmanuel affair during the last three years for the Jerusalem Post. He spoke about how religious Sephardic Jews viewed the case that 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. I caught up with Mandel afterwards and he shed light on the status of religious Sephardic Jews in Israel in this interview…

Later in the evening, we were joined by Israeli author and journalist Yossi Klein Halevi who revealed the tremendous impact Sephardic music and culture has had on Israeli rock n’ roll since it’s birth in 1967. Halevi “rocked” out with by playing various Sephardic influenced Israeli rock n’ roll songs for our group. This is video footage I captured of Halevi discussing the impact of Iranian-Israeli rock singer Meir Banai on contemporary Israeli rock music and his most recent hit song “Lecha Eli” which is originally a religious song typically sung during Yom Kippur…

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