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Hasidic Jews Make Pilgrimage to Ukrai...
Uman
By kierankesner
02 Oct 2014

Despite the civil war currently devastating Ukraine this year, an estimated thirty-thousand Hasidic Jews gathered in Uman, a small city at banks of the Umanka River, paying little attention to the worldly, bloody political struggle surrounding the site of their spiritual leader's tomb.

Since 1811, Jewish followers of the Breslov Hasidic movement make an annual pilgrimage to visit the grave of their founder, Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810) of Uman, in central Ukraine. The gathering, permeated by the rhythm of prayer and teaching, joy and remembrance is a central part of this religious group's devotional practice.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city of Uman had a large Jewish population. In 1941, when the Germans invaded Ukraine, some seventeen-thousand Jews were murdered and the rest were deported - tragically wiping out the entire Jewish community of Uman.

Despite the Nazi occupation and Communist regimes, Jews continued to make the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave even though in some years less than a dozen completed the journey.

Since the fall of Communism, a small but growing Jewish population has re-established itself in Uman in close proximity to the grave of Rabbi Nachman. Despite Uman's remote location, people travel from all over the world for just one week out of the year.

Uman is typical of a small Eastern European city. However, Rabbi Nachman’s grave is protected inside a collection of buildings and sanctuaries situated in something more reminiscent of an old Jewish Ghetto.

Crooked streets and congested buildings rest haphazardly on top of each other and harken back to a place frozen in time. Instead of Cyrillic, signs are in Hebrew. Instead of people dressed in shirts and slacks, the streets are filled with men and women, often separated by gender, and dressed much like those who lived in Uman In the 18th century.

Today, the pilgrimage is undertaken by individuals driven by faith and obligation. A sea of white shirts or black suits and hats, large groups of men and, separately, large groups of women, focus on prayer - blind to the chaos and bloodshed that grips Ukraine.

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Iranian Jews Celebrate Bar-Mitzvah in...
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
17 Jul 2014

Tehran, Iran

An Iranian-Jewish family celebrates the Bar Mitzvah for their oldest son in Tehran's largest synagogue. Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Today, nearly ten thousand Jews live in Iran. Iran's Jewish community is officially recognized as a religious minority by the government and have their own seat in the Iranian parliament. Their cultural institutions remain strong in the country with a network of schools, hospitals, libraries, and seminaries.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin , a 13 year old Iranian Jewish boy learning to read the Torah for his Bar Mitzvah at a Synagogue in Yussef Abad, in the North Of Tehran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin, a 13 years old Iranian Jewish boy celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at the biggest Synagogue in Yussef Abad in the North of Teheran.
Out of the 80 000 Jews present in Iran under the Shah, there are barely 10,000 today. This religious minority has its Member of Parliament, schools ... but must live in discretion.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin , learning to read the Torah for his Bar Mitzvah. His standing on carved altar carved in wood and gold in the biggest Synagogue of Yussef Abad, in the North of Teheran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

An iranian Jewish boy carrying the torah scroll with his father for his Bar mitzvah at a Synagogue in Tehran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin carrying the Torah scroll with his father for his Bar Mitzvah at the biggest Synagogue in Tehran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin 's friends reading the Torah. They are all educated in Jewish schools. Only five Jewish schools remain in Tehran. They subsist thanks to grants from the Ministry of Education.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

An Iranian Jewish boy reading the Torah in the biggest synagogue of Tehran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

An Iranian Jewish boy reading the Torah in the synagogue of Yussef Abad in the North of Tehran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Jewish boys reading the Torah during Arvin's Bar-Mitzva . Although Jews can be discriminated against , those who decided to stay declared feeling more secure in Iran than in other countries such as Israel.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Jewish boys reading the Torah during Arvin's Bar-Mitzvah. After the ceremony, guests gather around a sumptuous buffet. On the menu: traditional Iranian dishes and ... wine. Within the Islamic Republic, alcohol is prohibited for muslims, but tolerated for religious minorities like Jews and Christians.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin celebrating his Bar Mitzvah and reading the Torah. He is surrounded by the Rabbi , his father and a friend.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin and the Rabbi during his Bar Mitzvah in the biggest synagogue in Tehran.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

The Rabbi advising Arvin during his Bar Mitzvah.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

Arvin waiting to start celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in the biggest synagogue of Tehran located in Yussef Abad neighborhood.

Recognized as a minority in the 1979 Constitution, Jews are represented in the Iranian Parliament by a jewish member.
Despite their patriotism toward Iran, Jews's loyalty remain, in the eyes of the regime, questionable.

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Iranian Jews
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
08 Nov 2012

The menorah, one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith, in the Yousef Abad Synagogue.

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The Arabs and the Holocaust: An Inter...
Israel
By upheavalproductions
12 Nov 2011

Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. His research has included the study of politics and economics in the Middle East and North Africa; US policy in the Middle East; the sociology of Islam and Islamic fundamentalism; and social theory and movements, among other topics. He is the author and editor of numerous books on the aforementioned subjects, which have been translated into well-over a dozen languages. Achcar's latest work is The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, published in 2010 by Metropolitan Books.

Here he talks about what he calls the "Nazification" of the Arabs, what implications this narrative has had on the past and present political situation in the Middle East, and some of the context from which anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial has taken root in a segment of Arab society.

For more information and to view other interviews in this series, please visit:

www.UpheavalProductions.com

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Holocaust Survivor's Experiences Conn...
Israel
By upheavalproductions
20 Apr 2011

Dr. Hajo Meyer is a Holocaust survivor and anti-Zionist activist. He has been conducting a speaking tour titled "Never Again For Anyone," sharing his experiences of surviving Auschwitz and his perceptions of Zionism and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

This video is a selection of clips from an interview with Dr. Meyer on February 19, 2011 and discusses his views of the antagonistic relationship between Zionism and Judaism.

Produced by Upheaval Productions.