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HaNoar HaOved youth movement in Davar

Davar


November 11, 2021


By Yahel Faraj


HaNoar HaOved youth movement to the Minister of Immigration and Absorption: “We will volunteer for any mission to help absorb those waiting to make Aliyah from Ethiopia”

The youth movement called on Minister Tamano-Shata yesterday to work towards bringing to Israel the Ethiopian Jews as soon as possible, due to the civil war in the country. Youth counselor at the Ramat Eliyahu, Rishon Letzion branch whose uncles are waiting to make Aliya: “My mother is in contact with her brothers. They say it’s a big mess, that you can’t walk around on the streets and that they barely go to work.”

HaNoar HaOved youth counselors at an activity for the Sigd Holiday with recent olim at the Haruv Absorption Center in Beer Sheva. Photo credits: HaNoar HaOved

“For over 20 years, thousands of Jews have been waiting in the transit camps in Gondar and Addis Ababa, waiting to fulfill their dream of making Aliyah to Israel,” says the letter from the HaNoar HaOved youth movement to Minister of Immigration and Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata in a letter sent on Tuesday. “Thousands left their homes years ago in order to make Aliyah to Israel and have been left in a temporary state of endless waiting. The civil war is worsening the condition of the families and individuals in the camps, and every day we lose more and more of our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia!”


“In the youth movement, we see absorbing Aliyah from Ethiopia as the need of the hour, and call on the state of Israel to make it happen. We are waiting for them here. Our hearts, homes and youth movement branches are open and waiting for them. We will volunteer for any and all social and educational missions to help absorb them in the best manner possible into Israeli society.”

HaNoar HaOved youth movement members in their traditional hug with Faranus Salamsa, mother of Yosef Salamsa z”l, at the national celebration of Sigd in Jerusalem. Photo credit: HaNoar HaOved

David Wendemgin, youth leader at the Ramat Eliyahu branch of HaNoar HaOved in Rishon Letzion – a well-known Ethiopian-Israeli neighborhood – tells Davar, “The State of Israel needs to bring those waiting in Ethiopia. My movement and I will do whatever needs to be done to help them.” Wendemgin’s parents’ siblings have been waiting in Addis Ababa and in Gondar for years to make Aliyah, and in light of the civil war in the country, the family fears for their safety. “My mother is in contact with her brothers. They say it’s a big mess, that you can’t walk around on the streets and that they barely go to work.”


The coordinator of immigration and absorption in HaNoar HaOved Adi Porat says, “There is nothing more important than a child meeting a big brother when they get here – a big brother who chooses to brighten their first days in Israel, a counselor waiting to receive them with a hug. We need to be there to help acclimatize the children, to connect them to the Hebrew language and Israeli society. Our home is truly open to all - both those making Aliyah now and those who were born here. There is no better way to be absorbed into Israeli society than being in a youth movement, and of course in HaNoar HaOved.”


David Wendemgin (left), youth leader at the Ramat Eliyahu branch. “My movement and I will do whatever needs to be done to help those waiting in Ethiopia.” Photo credits: HaNoar HaOved

“40 years ago, when the Beita Israel community set out on its long and arduous journey to reach Jerusalem, it took Israel a very long time to interfere and use its influence in Ethiopia, and afterwards in the refugee camps in Sudan, and because of this there were those who did not make it.”


There are thousands of Ethiopian-Israeli youth members in the movement’s branches, some who have made Aliyah in the past two years and some of whom were born in Israel. Over the past year, HaNoar HaOved has established Hebrew courses for olim from all over the world, out of the realization that youth also need help learning the language. “For a few years already we have been trying to tell the story of the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jews as it should be told. Education towards Aliyah is the beating heart of the movement,” Porat adds.

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