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Remembering Rabbi Marshall Meyer in NY and in Bs.As.

10/11/2019

I couldn’t have thought of a better place to present and talk about my film Laid to Rest than to a full house at the B’nai Jeshurun synagogue in Manhattan, New York. And, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to connect the dots between two Jewish communities through the legacy of the late Rabbi Marshall Meyer . The strong ties to Rabbi Marshall Meyer and to his legacy of social consciousness, are at the core of this documentary. Internationally recognized as a human rights activist, Rabbi Meyer worked in Argentina from 1958 to 1984 where he founded the Conservative Jewish movement at Templo Libertad. After two decades of civil rights and community work in Argentina during the “Dirty War”, Rabbi Meyer returned to the US to lead the B’nai Jeshurun community. When interviewed for the film, Rabbi Sergio Bergman praised Rabbi Marshall’s for his many contributions to the Argentinean Jewish community.

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Fighting For Women’s Rights #internationalwomensday

8/03/2016

“Today it is so easy to take for granted all the progress we’ve made on these kinds of issues. But the fact is, today, so many of these rights are under threat from all sides, always at risk of being rolled back if we let our guard down for a single minute.”

“These rights were secured through long hard battles waged by women and men, who marched and protested and made their voices heard in courtrooms and boardrooms and voting booths and the halls of Congress. And make no mistake about it: education was central to every last one of these efforts.”

— Michelle Obama said today in reference to women’s issues in the U.S. The First Lady spoke to a crowd today at Union Market in Washington, D.C. for #InternationalWomensDay, marking the first anniversary of Let Girls Learn.

 

Posted by PBS NewsHour on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

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Untold stories

13/05/2013

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Trafficking: A Crime So Monstrous

18/07/2012

From the Netherlands, Moldova and Romania to Sudan, South Africa and India, award winning investigative journalist and author Benjamin Skinner has been face-to-face with modern-day slavery. A fellow at Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, he has been a long-time anti-slavery advocate.

Through his work Skinner was able to infiltrate – often undercover – the underworld of global trafficking in order to bear witness and give a voice to the unheard victims of one of the worst crimes against humanity.

In his recent interview, Skinner discussed his book A Crime So Monstrous (Free Press, 2008), providing his unique account and contemporary perspectives on sex trafficking. Here’s an excerpt:

Discussing modern-day trafficking and the millions of sex slaves and others in bondage worldwide (also here on CNN’s Larry King Live, directed for National Geographic by Nico Sabenorio), Skinner emphasizes that “today, slavery is more profligate than ever before in human history.”

In order to turn the corner against trafficking and slavery he suggests greater focus on targeted development program as well as better funding allocation by governments.  But he also strongly believes that true change can come as a result of governments acting together and of the general community “getting involved directly, and there a number of very good organizations that work on this: the Polaris Project here in the US, which seeks to identify and aid trafficking victims across the country, Free the Slaves that work internationally – and these are organizations that can always use help. I think that any time you can transform outrage into action – you are making a change, as a documentarian or as a journalist.”

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Rabbi Lauer is washing the dirty laundry

5/10/2011

Rabbi Levi Lauer doesn’t mince words when it comes to discussing his vision and mission of ATZUM-Justice Works, the Israeli social justice NGO he founded in 2002. And he thinks that changing the evil, here and now, can come from looking at the past, then and there:

Excerpt from an interview held in conjunction with Rabbi Lauer’s talk “When Hope Ends in Slavery: Human Trafficking in Israel” at Brandeis University on 9/13/11. The event was co-convened by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and cosponsored by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies Program, the Social Justice & Social Policy Program, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

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Women for Sale (excerpt)

4/10/2011

You can go to a store and buy a shirt, book, ice cream, a toy… a woman. Choose a color, choose a flavor, pay, and even have it To Go.

ATZUM-Justice Works with the Task Force on Human Trafficking launched a provoking social campaign called Woman To Go. Women with price tags perched on stools and stood in a shop window display at the WomanToGo store in a Tel Aviv mall. The Woman To Go campaign aims to raise awareness, criminalize the sexual predation of women, and stop the rising trafficking of women into, out of, and within Israel. Designed by the ad agency Shalmor Avnon Avichay/Y&R Interactive, the campaign received international attention on CNN.

When Hope Ends in Slavery: Human Trafficking in Israel” was the topic of a talk given at Brandeis University by Rabbi Lauer about the Woman To Go campaign and ATZUM’s anti-trafficking focus.

This event was co-convened by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and cosponsored by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies Program, the Social Justice & Social Policy Program, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

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Production Assembly: Who, What, When and Where

1/02/2011

Following the unwinding trail of scarce archival documentation, the documentary Laid to Rest, Buried Stories of Jewish Sex Trade unravels the questions, secrets, myths and mysteries surrounding the topic from the late 19th century until the 1930s. Here is a rough cut of assembled footage filmed and edited between June 2009 – November 2010:

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Shifra’le: Forgotten Memories of Ibergus

14/05/2010

Shifra Lerer started her life long acting career in the Yiddish theater in Argentina at the age of five. She was only nine years old when she played in Leib Malach’s controversial play Ibergus about the Jewish sex trade in Latin America. Years later, she recall the play, her role and the controversial circumstances surrounding the month long stage production in Buenos Aires’ Teatro Ideal. She can no longer remember her lines, but still remembers the controversy:

Ibergus?It was a play that made you nervous, made you think about things, made you be concerned abut things…

From an interview with Shifra Lerer, NYC, 2010

It was a shameful episode in the life of Yiddish life in Argentina. I can’t tell you much about it because being at this age, I was too young to understand…

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