Between Yosef Salamsa & Martin Luther King Jnr: The Ethiopian Jewish Struggle in Comparative Perspective
Talk and Q&A with Efrat Yerday in partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace
New York — Join us for a talk by Efrat Yerday on the contemporary parallel struggles of Ethiopian Jews in Israel/Palestine and Black Lives Matter in the US and on the struggles of black people against racism from a transnational perspective. In recent years, Ethiopian Jewish activists have begun to gradually perceive their struggle in universal terms, adopting global anti-racist strategies on the one hand, but often without giving up their precarious privilege as Jews.
More specifically, they have drawn from the Black Lives Matter movement, invoking practices and language that transcend the local so as to garner universal legitimation. African American leaders such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are quoted frequently in demonstrations and on social media by Ethiopian activists; the clashes in Baltimore, Fergusson and Missouri are linked to the clashes in Rabin square in Tel Aviv.
Efrat Yerday is a writer, scholar, editor, and activist. In 2010–2011 she served as the spokesperson for the Israeli Association for Ethiopian Jews and published opinion pieces on racism in general and institutionalized racism in particular. Over the years she has also published reviews of nonfiction dealing with Ethiopian history and the absorption of Ethiopians in Israel.
In 2010 she established the Young Ethiopian Students blog, inviting critical thinking and challenging the establishment and academic narrative of the immigration and absorption of Ethiopian Jews. Yerday teaches at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and writes regularly for Hamakom hakhi kham begehinom (The Hottest Place in Hell) and for other media outlets.