Amidst the glamor and glitz of the Oscars, a short film on the children of migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel was awarded a golden statue for best documentary short.
The film Strangers No More highlights the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, which teaches 800 students from 48 countries. Some have fled violence in their home countries, while others migrated to Israel along with their parents, who were searching for work. All are united by a common language: Hebrew.
A screening of the film in Tel Aviv on Monday night brought a capacity crowd, including former prime minister Ehud Olmert. As The Jerusalem Post reports:
"Olmert said the school presents a model of how Israel can treat those who are different and those who come here seeking refuge. The former Prime Minister added ‘We must not allow these children to be deported.’"
Olmert was almost certainly just referring to the children of asylum seekers, and not those of migrant workers. The differences in treatment between the two groups — by society and by law — are among the issues we will be investigating in our coverage of the immigrant issue on the ground in Israel.
And you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll try to meet the students and teachers at Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv when we’re there in just under two weeks!