While many Ethiopian Jews have integrated nicely into Israeli society and serve in the IDF, police, sports, politics or entertainment, there is still widespread poverty and lack of opportunity. Many have expressed feelings of being subjected to systemic bias, being second-class citizens or having to constantly worry about harassment due to their skin color (I know many who’ve been harassed).
After I made Aliya around 25 years ago, it took me over 15 years before I really “felt” Israeli. Most immigrants feel that, and Ethiopian Jews feel it too. What’s harder is the poverty that they live in here in Israel. So, holiday gifts aren’t something that their kids are used to receiving. For them, it’s a big deal. There is a group in Jerusalem that we decided to focus on, because we like to give to those “most” in need.
On December 21 an event was held in Jerusalem for these kids living under the poverty line. Holiday tasty treats were on hand.
Gift bags of winter hats, umbrellas, plush blankets, backpacks, puzzles, toys and holiday artwork, assembly, drawing, and painting kits were packed were ready for each child. The joy on their faces tells it all.
This is a very rewarding and touching event. You, our donors, made it possible. You are an inspirer and encourager. May you be richly blessed for blessing Israel!
Our team at Israel Relief Aid wants to add our wishes to you and your family for a blessed New Year!