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Between 1948 and 1954, several thousand babies born to Mizrahi immigrants to Israel were separated from their parents and were claimed by Ashkenazi authorities to have mysteriously and suddenly died. Was this really the case or was this part of a larger conspiracy affecting Mizrahi Jews from Yemen, Iraq, and other parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East? This episode of Adventures in Jewish Studies looks at these disappearances, known as the Yemenite Children Affair, to illustrate the story of the Mizrahi Jewish experience in the development of Israel.

The state of Israel was created as a safe haven for world Jewry, and Jews from all corners of the world came together to form a new and harmonious society. In reality, though, Israeli society was far from unified. From its earliest days, modern Israeli society was divided by ethnic tensions between Jews of European origins (Ashkenazim), who controlled the Zionist establishment, and Jews of North African, Middle Eastern, and Asian origins (Mizrahim), who were relegated to second-class status. 

Join host Jeremy Shere and Jewish Studies guest scholars as they discuss the Mizrahi struggle for civil rights in the Jewish state – from the Yemenite Children Affair to the Wadi Salib riots, from the Israeli Black Panther Protests to the ongoing efforts of the Mizrahim to participate as full members of Israeli society.

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