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Israel: We Are One

 

Immigration is a controversial word today in the United States. Perhaps, it always was. Around the fire places and in homes everywhere people have said “If we let in the Immigrants into our country it will change our culture, our environment, and our commerce”.

This is not so in Israel. The ingathering of the exiles is not only a biblical promise (Devarim 28) and a prophetic announcement (Yermeyahu 16:15), but it serves as the predominant rational for the modern State of Israel. The essence of Israel’s development has been Aliya (which literally means to go up). Jews have made Aliya from dozens of countries where they speak over one hundred different languages and dialects. They came from Russia even before the revolution, from Germany and Central Europe before the Shoah from Hungary and Czechoslovakia from the ashes of the Holocaust, and from North Africa, Yemen, and the Middle East after the founding of the State in 1948.

For over twenty years, I myself participated in several important rescues and resettlement projects on behalf the world- wide Jewish community. In 1985 and again in 1991 I helped to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel through Operation Moses and Operation Solomon. George Will, the noted commentator once said “Israel is the only country in history to bring Blacks out of Africa as free people and not in chains”. I will never forget the covert work we did to bring 1,400 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in a 36 hour period. This included one plane (May 24, 1991) which had 1122 men, women, and children crowded into an El Al 747. In fact, five babies were born on that flight!

From 1990-1995, I had the blessing and opportunity to serve as the Director of the United Jewish Appeals’ Operation Exodus Campaign. We raised close to one billion dollars and rescued, and resettled more then 700, 00 Jews in Israel from the former Soviet Union. Once, when I was traveling to a fund raising meeting in Los Angeles, I had a discussion with a taxi driver who had recently come to the United States from Bosnia. He was so fascinated- surprised- and bewildered that Israel had encouraged Immigrants to settle in Israel, had a plan to “ingather them”, and paid to bring them in. Despite the fact that this new American Immigrant had a PhD, this was so alien to him that he found it incomprehensible. He asked me how it was possible that we had a system to bring Immigrants into Israel. I responded in one sentence. “We are Jews and we feel that we are all responsible one for another”.

Today, on Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s 66th Independence Day Celebration, we join together as one people with one destiny. People of all faiths come together to recognize and understand that Israel is not only a country of Immigrants but a nation which has compassion, passion, and the resolve to make the world a better place.

Join us in helping the poor and disadvantaged girls at the Lev Lalev Orphanage in Netanya, Israel. It is said that one judges a country on how it treats its poor and weak. The compassion you show by helping these girls will bring you much satisfaction and untold blessings.

 

Thank you for being our partners in making the world a better place.

 

SHP

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