Mizrahi Stories is a campaign that coincides with November—Mizrahi Heritage month. A series of initiatives to educate students about the history of Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa, this campaign consists of digital advocacy, student-led events on university campuses, and highlighting important voices. The Jewish communities of the Middle East and North Africa date back to periods of antiquity. Despite their minority status under Islamic rule, several diasporic communities experienced periods of population growth, prosperity, and the development of culture. Unfortunately, during and after the establishment of the State of Israel, over 850,000 Jews were persecuted and expelled from across the region for their Jewish identities. All too often, these stories go unheard and unacknowledged on university campuses. CAMERA on Campus seeks to provide information and resources to educate others about the important history of Mizrahi Jews from Syria to Morocco, Libya to Tunisia, and the Kavkaz to Tajikistan.
Increasingly, campuses are the scene of propagandistic assaults on Israel. Distorted literature, extreme speakers and false, inflammatory images are all too common, creating harmful misperceptions of Israel. This hostile environment can be intimidating to students seeking fair and objective information on Middle East issues.
CAMERA provides assistance to students through the CAMERA-Supported Group and CAMERA Fellowship programs. This includes guidance in finding and connecting with speakers or films, planning and creating events, funding for student groups, and addressing Middle East distortions in campus publications, fliers, rallies, and classroom teaching.
Students are provided with the support for bravely and publicly defending Israel against hostility and distortions on campus.
CAMERA on Campus’ Core Values
1. An unshakeable belief in the causes of Zionism and Israel
CAMERA knows that strong Zionists do not have to be Jewish—that anyone, anywhere can help to strengthen the Zionist core. We understand, and communicate to our students, that knowledge of the facts and the truth can empower anyone, regardless of race, location, or ethnicity, to stand up for Israel, even in a sea of dissent or apathy.
2. The absolute necessity for truth telling regarding Israel and for confronting lies at every turn
CAMERA knows that training students to write effective articles, letters-to-the-editor, and op-eds is imperative in voicing an accurate, pro-Israel message. Our students’ writing has single-handedly promoted accurate, Zionist coverage of the situation in and around Israel on many campuses. Our students confront inaccuracy in the classroom, in the paper, and on the campus quad.
Our philosophy on speaking openly for Israel enables students to network with activists all over the country, and they recommend our programs to others.
3. The truth must be spoken publicly, with knowledge and confidence
CAMERA is determined to tell the truth of all aspects of the situation in Israel and the Middle East, whether or not they are pleasant for the audience to hear. CAMERA teaches our students that even little-known topics should be covered and understood by the public, especially by the newest generations of leaders—university students. Our students are willing to stand up and educate others about difficult topics, because they are armed with the facts and can therefore not be intimidated into silence.