Learning about the Polarizing Effects of Refugee Migrations in Israel

Speaker: Ruth Berdah-Canet

Ruth Berdah-Canet is the director/producer of For You Were Once Strangers, a social documentary film about the polarizing issue brought up within Israeli society by a massive wave of South Sudanese refugees that has flooded across the border since 2008. The movie shows that, while some Israelis see the mirror of their own history as refugees, others see only a threat to the survival of the Jewish State.

Naka, a South Sudanese refugee girl in Israel. Screenshot from For You Were Once Strangers, directed by Ruth Berdah-Canet, New York City: Across Waters, 2015.

Alignment with School Curricula

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About This Speaker

Key Info about the Speaker

Name: Ruth Berdah-Canet
Work: Documentary filmmaker
Place of residence: New York City, USA

Watch This Video

Theatrical trailer for For You Were Once Strangers, directed by Ruth Berdah-Canet. New York City: Across Waters, 2015. Vimeo video. Posted by Ruth Berdah-Canet, January 2017.

Who Will Be Your Interlocutor?

Name: Ruth Berdah-Canet
Title: Director and producer of For You Were Once Strangers
More: M.A., Sociology & Politics, Paris Dauphine University, 2002; M.A., Political Science, Chuo University, Tokyo, 2003.


Learning Goals of the Videoconference

  • Explain how human migrations depend on various factors through the example of a refugee migration caused by armed conflict.
  • Examine the various effects (socioeconomic, political, cultural, and psychological) of refugee immigration in a host country.
  • Examine a country’s strategies to control refugee immigration flows through the example of Israel immigration policy.
  • Develop skills to critically examine and balance core concepts of responsibility, justice/law, solidarity, and individual security in the context of refugee migrations.
  • Identify the objectives, work process, and accomplishments of a documentary filmmaker whose mission is to produce stories that promote equal rights and justice.

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