Toronto - Royal Counsellor, Andre Azoulay, was feted during a special tribute at the sold out opening night for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the New York Sephardic Film Festival (NYSJFF). The event took place March 30 in New York.
Toronto – Royal Counsellor, Andre Azoulay, was feted during a special tribute at the sold out opening night for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the New York Sephardic Film Festival (NYSJFF). The event took place March 30 in New York.
Ambassadors, consul generals and representatives from numerous countries were in attendance to celebrate the film festival’s opening night and to pay tribute to Azoulay. The event was organized by the American Sephardi Federation (ASF) and co-presented by Association Mimouna.
Morocco has long been known across the globe as a beacon of tolerance and anexample of successful Arab-Jewish coexistence. Andre Azoulay has been a champion ambassador for the recognition of this phenomenon.
Among the star-studded list of performers for the premier evening was Kuwaiti singer and human rights activist, Ema Shah. She spoke in glowing terms of Morocco as an example for the world. “When I see the Moroccans here- Andre [Azoulay], and everyone from Morocco here- I felt proud… You have something special in your country.”
Laziz Dalil is the vice president of Association Mimouna. In her address, she spoke of her time as a student, along with the association’s executive director, Elmehdi Boudra. She related to the audience that she and Boudra feared young people were moving away from the tolerant discourse of their parents and grandparents, who raised their children with full acceptance of Jewish culture.
“We were losing something very precious about us. Something that belongs to who we are. To our identity. We were losing ourselves. We decided in our small school to do something. So we gathered and created Association Mimouna to promote and preserve the Moroccan Jewish heritage.” Dalil praised Azoulay for his early mentorship and support for the organization.
ASF executive director, Jason Guberman credits the Moroccan constitution and King Mohammed’s concrete support for its text with sending a valuable message to the rest of the world and to “current and future generations.”
“We need much more Morocco in the world,” he said. “We must join Morocco as it seeks to preserve and share its rich Jewish heritage. We should stand with Morocco as it seeks, through the Marrakech Declaration and efforts to train imams, to counteract fanaticism globally.”