Mizrahi Caucus

The JFREJ Mizrahi & Sephardi Caucus is a space for Jews who trace our ancestry from the Middle East, Asia and the Balkans, to learn about our histories and culture, build community, and get connected to JFREJ’s organizing work. Learn more about our work, find upcoming events and sign-up for updates and opportunities to take action.

About the Mizrahi Caucus

The caucus is space for JFREJ members who hold Mizrahi & Sephardi identity to have sacred space to build relationships. The caucus was founded 2014 by four JFREJ members who were yearning for visibility and connection with other progressive Mizrahim in NYC. Since then we’ve done important work to build out our base, do political education for each other on our diverse histories, get trained in grassroots community organizing, and take on leadership in all of JFREJ’s campaign, programmatic and cultural work. In addition, a core priority over the years has been deepening our connection with our Muslim allies. Learning from the communities that have been on the front lines of oppression, colonization and displacement has been transformative in JFREJ’s understanding of who Jews are and where they come from — such as negating the myth that Jews & Muslims have always been enemies, that all Jews are white, and that being Jewish and Arab is a contradiction.

Since its founding, the Mizrahi & Sephardi Caucus has completely changed the JFREJ community, diversifying and enriching JFREJ’s musical and cultural repertoire, reshaping the way JFREJ works against Islamophobia and antisemitism, developing and honing a sophisticated workshop on Mizrahi & Sephardi history, and holding an annual caucus Passover Seder since 2014. In 2019, the Mizrahi & Sephardi Caucus planned and hosted a triumphant, radical Mimouna celebration — the most significant public event the caucus has presented, and a first in JFREJ history.

Given the rise of authoritarianism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, not only in the U.S. but globally, Mizrahim and Sephardim can make a clear and strategic intervention by reshaping the way our diverse Jewish histories and our shared Jewish future is understood. By reclaiming the truth — that Jewish identity is also Arab identity; that Muslims are not the eternal enemy of Jews or anyone else, and that Jewishness and whiteness are not the same thing, we move one step closer to finding a way forward for all of us, based in joy, celebration, and relationship.