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H-Gender-MidEast *************** From: Smadar Lavie, email@example.com Dr. Vicki Shiran, Founder of Israelšs Mizrahi Feminism-of-Color, is No Longer With Us Press Release - March 17, ?2004 The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow and Ahoti (Sistah) For Women in Israel, are shocked, pained and in deep grief due to the premature death of Dr. Vicki Shiran. Vicki Shiran was born in Cairo and immigrated to Israel when she was 4. She spent her childhood in the HaTikva (Hope, Heb.) slum. When 13, she was forced to leave school and provide for her family. She therefore continued her studies through evening adult education. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Tel Aviv University, and a doctorate in Criminology from the John Jay University of New York. In the last decade she taught at the Beit Berl Teachersš College and the Hebrew University. Last year she has founded Israelšs most original Gender Studies program at the Beit Berl College. 57 years of age, she died on March 15, 2004, after several years of struggling with breast cancer. Vicki Shiran, an advocate of equal rights of men and women alike, played a key role in the fight for the advancement of Mizrahim - Jews who immigrated to Israel from the Arab World and other Third World countries. She embarked her political activism in the early 1970s, taking part in the political theater of Jaffa. In 1981 she initiated the highly original ŗIsrael-Thatšs Me!˛ conference, discussing the rifts between the Ashkenazi establishment and Mizrahi and Palestinian-Israeli citizens of Israel in the open for the first time. This led her to establish the New Direction Stage at the HaTikva slum, where she and her activist friends invited Ashkenazi politicians and public figures so that they hear their criticism about the overlap between Israelšs ethnic and class divides. She sued the Israeli broadcast authorities in the Supreme Court for the exclusion of Mizrahi representation in the fancy anniversary TV series, The Pillar of Fire. She was a member in the Black Panthers, was the spokesperson for the TAMI Mizrahi party, and later was a keystone in the Mizrahi Front and East for Peace. Vicki was among the founders of the highly acclaimed Adva Center Information on Equality and Social Justice in Israel, and served on the editorial board of ŗAn Other Paper,˛ Israelšs first radical Mizrahi quarterly. From the inception of Israelšs feminist movement, she joined, always criticizing its exclusion of Mizrahi women, however. In 1991 she and friends initiated the Mizrahi Womenšs Group, that lead to the 2001 establishment of Ahoti (Sistah) For Women in Israel. In 1996 she was among the founders of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, who sued the government of Israel in the Supreme Court, and won, on issues of public housing and land ownership. During the last years of her life she led the successful legislation drive and lost Supreme Court suit against the broadcast of pornography on public TV. A leader of the intergenerational struggle for Mizrahi consciousness, Vicki charted a hopeful terrain for us all. In her multi-faceted activism she never stopped challenging the foundations of Israeli governmental and ideological domination and hegemony. Her fresh thinking, articulated in activist, journalistic and scholarly writings made us all bloom. She will continue to be our pillar of fire even after her unexpected disappearance. We are deeply committed to the spirit and action of Vickišs pathbreaking activism. May she rest in peace. For details: Orna Zaken, Ahotišs CEO, Ph. +972-51-594-746 Nurit Hajjaj, Keshetšs CEO, Ph. +972-56-346-554 Written by Ophir `Abu, Sigal Haroush, and Smadar Lavie. Ahoti For Women in Israel HaKeshet HaDemokratit HaMizrahit POB 4027, Tel Aviv 61040 20 MAPU St., Tel Aviv. POB 11518, Tel Aviv 61115 Ph. +972-3-525-0959 Ph. +972-3-524-7702 Fx +972-3-522-2224 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail: email@example.com