Sample JAT Information Alert:
Passover Reading: The Forgotten Exodus

DATE:	15 April, 2003
TYPE:	Information
SCOPE:	Global

SUBJ:	Passover Reading: The Forgotten Exodus

JAT encourages its members to adopt the theme of the
Forgotten Exodus as part of their seder celebrations. This
is a very important theme to counter the lies by the Arabs
and the false beliefs of most Europeans that Israel is just
a vestige of the European colonial empire. It also balances
the claims of Palestinian Arab refugees, almost all of whom
had been in Palestine less than 100 years. The Jews of the
Forgotten Exodus lived in their lands since long before the
Arab invasion and conquest of those lands and long before
Islam even existed.


1. Visit the website

   and study the material they have available. In
   particular, look at the posters they have on the
   following page:

   Those posters can be printed out and hung on the walls of
   the room where you are holding a seder. There is also a
   sheet that can be folded in half and placed in several
   places on the seder table.

   You can also print a nicely formatted version of the
   special reading at the following web page:

2. Spread the word by passing along this information to
   mailing lists and your personal contacts. You can use the
   material below from The David Project, starting with
   "Dear Friends" and finishing at the end of the special


Dear Friends,

This Passover, the Jewish community joins together to
remember the one million Jews from the Middle East forced to
flee their homes. 

In 1300 BCE, the waters of the Red Sea split to allow the
Israelites to flee persecution in Egypt. In the 20th
century, ships and airplanes enabled Jews to flee
persecution in Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Libya, Iran, Yemen, and
other Middle Eastern countries. Most came to Israel, where
today they and their descendants make up half of the

This Passover, we recall the ethnic cleansing of one million
Jews from Arab countries and Iran. We can preserve the
traditions of these once-flourishing, 3,000-year-old
communities, and we can demand an end to the anti-Semitism
that drove them out and persists today. 

Recall the past and stand for freedom and tolerance across
the Middle East today. Visit for
special readings, materials, and Passover rituals from
countries across the Middle East. Below is a reading on the
Forgotten Exodus that you can recite at the Seder table (you
can also download a PDF version from the site.)

Spread the word! Please forward this on to five friends and
family so as to touch as many Passover seders as possible!

Happy Passover!

-- The David Project


The Forgotten Exodus Passover Reading

As we hold the bread of affliction, we recall that more than
3,000 years ago our ancestors went forth from slavery in
Egypt to freedom in the land of Israel. Many never left the
Middle East. Today, we remember not only the bitterness of
that slavery, but also the forgotten exodus of one million
Jews who fled the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th

The Jewish people have been living in Egypt and throughout
the Middle East for over 3,000 years. As Jews, we take pride
in being the Middle East's oldest, existing ethnic group.

Wherever we lived, from Morocco to Iran, we made enormous
contributions. Sasson Heskel, a Baghdadi Jew, was Iraq's
Finance Minister in the 1930s. Mourad Bey helped draft the
Egyptian constitution in the 1920s. And Layla Murad, the
great diva of Arabic music and film, was also an Egyptian
Jew -- the Middle East's Barbara Streisand. We cherish the
sweeter memories from periods of co-existence.

But, for all our success, we encountered racism and
oppression that ultimately drove us out. Jewish community
centers were bombed, family members thrown in jail on
trumped-up charges, and innocent people lynched before
cheering crowds. Arab governments often froze bank accounts
and prevented Jews from leaving with more than one suitcase. 

The circumstances of the exodus differed from country to
country. Some left because of intimidation, others by
explicit expulsion. But the pain and anguish of being
uprooted from the only homeland these Jews ever knew was the

We hold the bread of affliction and recall the 135,000 Jews
of Iraq who once made up a plurality of the city of Baghdad;
the 40,000 Jews of Libya, where today no Jews remain; and
the 80,000 Jews of Egypt, many of whom in 1956 received
government expulsion orders. Just as the Israelites did not
have time to let their bread rise, these modern Egyptian
Jewish refugees did not have time to pack their bags.

And hundreds of thousands more, from Morocco, from Yemen,
from Syria, from Iran, from Afghanistan. Some of these
refugees fled to the U.S. and Europe. Most went to Israel,
where Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent now
comprise a majority of the population.

The scars of the past can heal. But justice can only be
achieved when peoples and governments in the Middle East
recognize the plight of the forgotten million refugees. This
year, we pray for the day when justice will be achieved for
the Jews of the Middle East and when all peoples of the
region will live together in peace and harmony. Amen.


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