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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Help Rescue Ethiopian Jews

My heart breaks for the thousands of Jewish people who are suffering in Ethiopian refugee camps right now. They are living in appalling conditions and suffer terrible discrimination as they wait to return home to the Holy Land.
These Ethiopians are members of the “lost” tribe of Dan and were unknown to much of the world for centuries.
Many Jewish people managed to flee to Israel in 1991 when Ethiopia’s brutal dictatorship fell and the immigration ban was temporarily lifted. However, thousands remained. Over 6,000 people — half of them children — still live in refugee camps waiting for their turn of aliyah.
I’ve been to these camps, and I’ve seen the deplorable conditions that these Jewish people endure daily. Up to seven people live in one room with no electricity or running water, and ailments like upper respiratory infections, parasites, and pneumonia run rampant, affecting the young and elderly the hardest.
I’ve looked into the eyes of beautiful children who suffer from malnutrition and diseases that could easily be treated if they were in Israel. I’ve prayed with the elderly who hope to see the Promised Land before they die, and families who dream of reaching Jerusalem together.
Thousands wait and pray that it will soon be their turn to fly home on Wings of Eagles. The Fellowship is dedicated to bringing all of these children of Israel home.
We need your help to fly the remaining Ethiopian Jews to freedom in Israel. And time is running out as another immigration ban could be imposed.
I have had the privilege of riding on a “Freedom Flight.” My heart soars as I recall the excitement and joy that filled the plane when we took off. Yet my heart cries when I remember their tearful goodbyes to family and friends who still wait for their turn.
Please, help us fill the next plane so these desperate Jewish people can return home to Jerusalem.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Sig
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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