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Purim skit mocking Mizrachi Jews prompts racism outcry

TJI Pick
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Published: 18 April 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

A national religious girls’ school has apologised after the spoof on Mizrachi religious practices prompted viral outrage.

A racist Purim video made by religious high school girls in Jerusalem sparked a wave of condemnations when it began circulating widely online on Thursday.

The YouTube video made by students at Ulpana Horev (the Hebrew term for a religious girls’ high school) was pulled down just a couple of hours after it began to generate backlash, more than a month after it was posted online.

In the clip, titled “If the ulpana were Mizrahi,” students can be seen with dark paint on their faces, giving themselves Mizrahi-sounding names, hanging pictures of Sephardi spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and acting according to gross stereotypes of Middle Eastern Jews.

Education Minister Yoav Kisch of Likud said he was “horrified to watch the appalling video which shows terrible manifestations of racism that we must not accept in any way — neither in society nor in Israeli educational institutions.”

Labor MK Naama Lazimi, who is of Moroccan descent, said that the “severe racism” of the teenagers “crushed my heart.”

“How deep must the hatred and contempt for Mizrahi Jews run in their communities and their education to lead to this type of expression?” she asked.

Religious students face backlash for Purim skit mocking Mizrahi Jews (Times of Israel)

Israeli Girls School Under Fire for 'Brownface' Portrayal of Jews of Mideast Descent (Haaretz)

Photo: Still from the offending video (YouTube)

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