" If you differ from me, brother, then far from offending me you enrich me..... "
WHY THE BLACK & JEWISH ALLIANCE OF FRIENDSHIP?
The objective of the Black & Jewish Alliance of Friendship is to form a bond between Jews and Blacks from all over the world: Africa, the Americas and the West Indies. Our aim and hope is that knowledge, understanding, and respect will replace misunderstanding and hostility between Jews and Blacks. We have the hope of a friendship between these two peoples.
In English we are the "Black & Jewish Alliance of Friendship". In French we are "L'amitié judéo-noire". Although AJN is an international association, the headquarters of AJN is France; and we wish the association to be a model of the ideals that we cherish for all.
Through brotherly dialogue and mutual cooperation, we shall explore the history and the memory of Blacks and Jews. At the same time, we shall fervently oppose racism and anti-Semitism in all of their forms.
The Black & Jewish Alliance of Friendship does not proselytize; nor does the Alliance treat as the same the rich and varied histories of the Black and Jewish peoples. Accordingly, BJAF does not deny or ignore ancestral ties. Rather, BJAF encourages its members to draw upon their differences and similarities with honesty and purity of heart in a rigorous effort to ascertain the truth.
More than two millennia testify to the good will between Jews and Blacks. Between our peoples there have been exchanges on many fronts. These include: economic, literary, artistic, musical, scientific, agronomic and culinary. This rich history of cooperation serves notice of our steadfast opposition to those who deny the Truth.
BJAF is committed to establishing a bridge of harmony between Jews and Blacks because our peoples have often been the victims and both constitute minority groups, owing to slavery and immigration. Among the important dates that we mark in the struggle for human equality, we recall Bastille Day in France and the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. Furthermore, we wholeheartedly embrace the evolution of equality that has included the rights of both women and children.
BJAF is committed to establishing a bridge of harmony between Jews and Blacks because living together in peace is attainable only if we exercise the proper will to do so.
BJAF extends the hand of friendship and unity even as it cultivates difference and identity. The values of democracy guarantee this opportunity.
L'Amitié Judeo-Noire (BJAF) is a new forum that aims to inform and to bring to the public original and quality information about Jews and Blacks.
Our team of independent journalists wishes to demonstrate that notwithstanding our respective traditions we share the same moral values. These are based upon prosperity for all of Humanity, without regard to race, religion, or culture.
As an apolitical, non-profit organization, we seek to provide objective information from qualified and varied sources. Accordingly, we will follow the journalistic rules of ethics by clearly separating the news from points of view. To this end we will always cite the sources of our information, though we will respect confidentiality if the sources of information ask for it. Our role is to inform about current events. Thus, we will draw attention to insults or racist acts whatever their nature and origin, and whether they are direct towards Jews or Blacks or towards yet another minority group.
We are committed to the values of cultural diversity and mutual respect for the Other, as only these values can ensure the national cohesion that is rapidly diminishing. Only they will allow us to live in harmony and to make our country a model of freedom, equality and brotherhood.
We will monitor political leaders, institutions, and the media. And we will intervene at the ground level in order to ensure that justice prevails. It is particularly important to us to keep you-our valuable internet readers-fully informed.
As the wise men of the Talmud observed, the whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to be afraid. To this we add that it is also important to help one another to move along on this narrow bridge.
As the African wisdom taught us, between true friends, even water drunk together is sweet enough.
Sheik Doukouré is a film director. When he came in France in 1964, he attended the Cours Simon and studied modern arts at the Sorbonne. In the Seventies, he shot movies with the French film directors Audiard, Mocky, Girod and played at the theatre for directors Hossein, Mondy and Chéreau. In 1991, Sheik Doukouré showed his first movie, Blanc d'ébène, then he directed le Ballon d'Or, produced by Bako Productions. In his film Paris selon Moussa (2003), Sheik chose to show, through a tender history and without concession, the situations encountered by the immigrants in France.
Yves Moussa, webmaster, physician and writer, is involved in humanitarian and anti-racist organizations. He works closely with human rights organisations in France such as LICRA ("International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism") and SOS-Racisme.
Laurence Thomas teaches philosophy and political science at the university of Syracuse (New York). He is the author of Vessels of Evil: American Slavery and the Holocaust (1993) and The Family and the Political Self (2006).
Diana Pinto is a Historian who lives in France. Born in an Italian Jewish family and educated in the United States, she received her Ph.D in History from Harvard University. In 1991, she published in France the important work Between Two Worlds (Odile Jacob, 1991). When she was a teenager, Diana Pinto enthusiastically participated to the civil rights movements. Pinto's mother was involved in the Martin Luther King's circle in Atlanta, and taught at Morehouse College, one of the most prestigious Black universities in the United States. After this period, Diana encountered numerous tensions between Jews and Blacks in the United States. Her hope is that the same errors are not repeated in France. Specializing in the study of democratic pluralism, Dr. Pinto has advised the European Council on issues related to the civil society in Eastern Europe. She has also published many articles about the new Jewish presence in a pluralist Europe after 1989. Through the dialogue between Jews and Blacks, she envisions a model that is respectful of both universal values, on the one hand, and religious and cultural identities, on the other, for all minorities, in a new pluralist Res publica.
Maurice Dorès is the director of research for the University Paris VII Department of Ethnology and documentaries maker. He had been living several years in Central African Republic and in Senegal. In his book "La Beauté de Cham, Mondes juifs, Mondes noirs", he stresses the convergences and divergences between Jews and Blacks. He also presented these relations through personal itineraries in his movie Black Israel. With this work, Maurice Dorès helps us to understand that the intensity of relations between Jews and Blacks not only depends on objective facts, but also relies on emotional reactions produced by past and present oppressions.
Nduwa Guershon is a social worker working today for the french humanitarian organization Médecins sans frontières. Born in Congo in a family of seven children, he was a civil servant in the ministry for social affairs in Kinshasa. In 1988, he went to Israel to study Hebraic civilization. There, he discovered the friendship among the Israelis and undertook a long spiritual path through Judaism. Jew and black, Guershon aims today to develop, in the French Republic, the values carried by humanism, the spirit of tolerance and peace.
Mariam Kaba is an actress whose beauty had been shown for four years in the posters of the African film festival of Leuwen, in Belgium. Under the glance of Sheik Doukouré, Mariam played in the movies Blanc d'ébène, Le Ballon d'or and Paris selon Moussa. Through her cinematographic work, she seeks to pass down African aesthetics to the future generations.
Eve Gani is the coordinator in Paris for the cultural programs of Columbia University. Deeply committed to and supportive of institutions that preserve memory, Eve Gani has participated in the development educational programs for L'Alliance Israélite Universelle. She has done research with the artistic film director Laurent Roth whereby she examined films dating as far back as the summer of 1939 for the creation of the musical Miniane, The Summer of 39. Drawing mightily upon the memory of her own Jewish family, who worked in Africa, Eve Gani pays homage to them in her participation in collective projects such as l'Amitié Judeo-Noire.
Yves Avigdor, bank employee, longstanding militant of the french Christian & Jewish Alliance of Friendship. He is also involved in humanitarian and anti-racist organizations. He works closely with human rights organisations in France such as LICRA.