Find a time this week to listen to the former Israeli Ambassador Asher Naim tell the incredible story of the dramatic mass emigration of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, to Israel, in what is known as Operation Solomon, and his role in making that journey possible. Thirty years later, there are now more than 100,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel.
Ambassador Naim described this amazing journey in a phone interview with Mordecai Specktor of the American Jewish World newspaper:
You should have seen how wonderful the Israeli Air Force was. Thirty-five planes, 42 flights, in 25 hours, we took out 14,200 Ethiopian Jews . . . . It was the largest evacuation in history — really a miracle by itself. It made news all over the world.
Years after the mass aliya of Ethiopian Jews, Ambassador Naim is still fighting on their behalf. Now he advocates for the Scholarship Fund for Ethiopian Jews (SFEJ), which helps young Ethiopians gain the tools needed to serve their community and contribute to Israeli society.
Read the American Jewish World newspaper’s article on Ambassador Naim to learn more about the rescue of Ethiopia’s Jewry.
Ambassador Naim is in the Twin Cities this weekend, and will be speaking tonight at the Saint Paul JCC, Friday and Saturday at Temple Israel as their Scholar-in-Residence, and at the Sabes JCC in Minneapolis on Sunday. When Naim speaks tonight at the Saint Paul JCC, he will be introduced by Minnesota’s former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, the U.S. emissary sent by Pres. George H.W. Bush to help secure the release of the Ethiopian Jews. Minneapolis Jewish Federation and United Jewish Fund & Council of St. Paul are hosting the talks by Ambassador Naim, and the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning is also sponsoring talks by Naim at local schools.
Check out TC Jewfolk’s Events Calendar for more information about each of these happenings.
(Photo: Jewish Agency for Israel)