Tuesday, March 1, 2011

South Tel-Aviv School for Refugees Wins Oscar

from the Jerusalem Post
Jubilation to be cut short though as 120 children of foreign workers, refugees still face deportation at Bialik-Rogozin school. Talkbacks (2) Filmmaker Karen Goodman was breathless speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, hours after "Strangers No More", the film she and her film-making partner Kirk Simon made about the children of foreign workers and refugees at Tel Aviv's Bialik-Rogozin school won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. "We've been nominated four times before, but we really had our hopes up this time for the school, Israel, and for the kids, hoping that the world would get to see the film's message." RELATED: Goodman said she hopes that following the Oscar win, "the spotlight will shine on the school and the world will see it as an example of hope and tolerance." "Strangers No More" is a 40-minute documentary that films the lives of Bialik-Rogozin's educators, in particular Principal Keren Tal and teacher Smadar Moeres, and shows the day-to-day lives of three students; Johannes from Ethiopia, Esther from South Africa, and Mohammed from Darfur. The film was shot over the course of a school year and depicts the turmoil and heartbreak faced by the children en route to Israel, and how the school has become a sort of safe haven for them in Israel . Located in south Tel Aviv, Bialik-Rogozin teaches more than 800 students from 48 countries around the world, all of them learning in classes taught in Hebrew, which serves as a sort of unifier for the children from scattered backgrounds. While the issue isn't covered in the movie, the school has become very famous in Israel over the past year, because 120 of its students face possible deportation in the wake of a cabinet decision last July. Bialik-Rogozin's 120 students are among the around 400 students nationwide who are slated to be deported. While the school is currently gripped with elation at the victory, soon enough, the issue of the impending deportations will again be center stage. The issue

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