Yesterday, 316 Jews lifted off from their native country of Ethiopia to arrive in their new home in Israel. The Israeli Government recently approved bringing 2,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel and this first planeload launches Operation Tzur Yisrael with another 100 arriving today. While the government approves the operation, it is the work of the Jewish Agency for Israel, one of our overseas partner agencies, that facilitates the preparation, the travel and the k’litah (absorption process into Israeli society). It is our Community Campaign that makes this possible.
Just two years ago in Israel, Federation’s Chief Development Officer Brian Eglash and I were given the honor and responsibility of addressing the Aliyah Committee of the Knesset representing the Federation system encouraging the government to expedite this aliyah (immigration). I get goosebumps staring at these pictures capturing the arrival on Israeli soil.
You make history happen by giving to and by encouraging others to support our collective efforts. I invite you to join our Federation for our first ever Virtual Super Sunday on Sunday, December 13th. You can help out right from the comfort of your home. Learn more and register to make calls at https://jewishpgh.org/event/super-sunday/.
Next Thursday night begins Chanukah, a holiday about miracles and reclaiming Jewish identity. How perfect for it to be in the same week as this airlift from Ethiopia! Take two minutes to watch a video from Ben Gurion Airport capturing the arrival yesterday and hearing from Isaac Herzog (the Chair of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel) explicitly expressing his gratitude to the Federation system.
Shabbat Shalom. Happy Chanukah. Go Steelers. And PLEASE wear your mask!