As a follow-up to Suzanne Pollak’s article, “Empowered” (May 5), it was great to relive Tsega Melaku’s amazing journey from Ethiopia to becoming a powerhouse within Israel’s Ethiopian-Jewish community.
Tsega’s mission is to remind us that Operation Solomon (more than 22 years ago) wasn’t the end of the story. For our Ethiopian-Jewish “relatives,” the long-awaited dream of finally setting foot in Jerusalem was, and still is, burdened by the unimagined challenges that accompany living in 21st-century Israel. In truth, the absorption process is ongoing, resulting in some amazing success stories. That’s where we come in. Our continued involvement helping Ethiopian Jews make it within Israeli society is ever more urgent. It is organizations such as the North American Conference On Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) and Congregation Tifereth Israel (the synagogue that my family and I belonged to on Long Island) that have made a difference for Tsega and other Ethiopian-Jewish students. They are today’s success stories and tomorrow’s future.
Hopefully, Pollak’s article will draw renewed interest among those concerned for a whole Israel in all its diversity, body and soul. JT readers who want to learn more are invited to call me at 410-484-4332.