The conference, "Forgotten Refugees: Jews Expelled From Arab Countries," was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, JIMENA and the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation. Support came from the World Jewish Congress and other local and national Jewish organizations.
About 300 people attended the four-hour event, hearing and sharing testimonials detailing imprisonment at internment camps, mass deportations, rape and ethnic cleansing. The stories were interspersed throughout the conference, which also featured panels on community activism, the role of the United Nations in the Middle East and a keynote address by Algerian-born Jew Eric Benhamou, the chair of 3Com Corp.
On January 7, 2002, former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived without fanfare at the Federal Correction Center in Butner, North Carolina to visit America's most controversial Jewish prisoner.