In this episode...
Karen sits down with Israeli writer and activist Hen Mazzig, the son of Mizrahi Jewish refugees from Iraq and North Africa who’s made it his mission to share his family’s story with the world. They chat about finding your own path in life and choosing a Jewish identity that’s meaningful to you, using social media for good, how to deal when society doesn’t accept parts of your identity, and why Mizrahi culture is the secret sauce that makes Israel so awesome.
You’ll find out:
- How Hen’s observant Mizrahi Israeli upbringing shaped his identity – and why he feels more Jewishly connected now than ever before, despite leading a more secular life
- The story of how Hen came to embrace his Iraqi-Tunisian heritage despite facing discrimination growing up
- What it was like growing up queer in a homophobic society – and later, facing discrimination as an Israeli in progressive circles
- Tips on how to love being Jewish 10 times more than anyone hates you for it
- The importance of making sure Jewish identity is shaped by joy more than by fear and hatred
- What Hen loves about hosting Shabbat dinners – and some of his favorite hosting hacks
- Why being Jewish in the 21st century is a miracle
- All about his upcoming book on Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, coming out in late 2022
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Hen Mazzig is an Israeli writer, a columnist for the Jewish Journal, and a speaker who has inspired thousands around the world with his story. He was named as one of the Algemeiner’s top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life in 2018 and in 2021, and Top 50 LGBTQ+ Influencers. As the son of Mizrahi Jewish refugees from Iraq and North Africa (Berber Jews from Tunisia), Hen has a unique and important voice in today’s discussions, sharing his family’s story as part of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.