Vicki Shiran

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Vicki Shiran (February 28, 1947 - March 15, 2004) was a leader of a movement promoting Mizrahi Jewish consciousness in Israel. She was an advocate of equal rights and played a key role in the fight for the advancement of Mizrahim (Jews who originate from Arab or Muslim countries). She was among the founders of The Mizrahi Democratic Coalition and the Feminist group Achoti.

Early life and career[edit]

Vicki Shiran was born in Cairo, and immigrated to Israel when she was 4. She spent her childhood in The HaTikva (Hope in Hebrew)slum. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Tel Aviv University, and a doctorate in Criminology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Political Activities[edit]

She embarked her political activism in the early 1970s, taking part in the political theater of Jaffa. In 1981 she initiated The "Israel-That's 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 Israel's 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 from the inception of Israel's feminist movement. In 1991 along with her colleagues initiated the Mizrahi Women's Group, that lead to the 2001 establishment of Achoti (Sister) - For Women in Israel. In 1996 she was among the founders of The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition, 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. She taught at the Beit Berl Teacher's College and at The Hebrew University. In 2002 she founded the Gender Studies program at the Beit Berl College.

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