Ethopian Jews and Yom Haatzmaut in Jerusalem

May 2nd 2011

Israel is a land with millions of stories of people from all around the world returning to their homeland in the most unusual and surprising ways.
Among the stories are the Jews from Ethiopia, who in the last thirty years have returned en masse after two enormous emergency airlift operations (Operation Moses and Operation Solomon).

This upcoming Yom Ha’atzmaut ( Israeli Independence Day Celebration), there are many ways to really get in touch with the essence of the holiday. AACI, or the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, has one unique opportunity- they are screening a fresh to the world documentary film: Leah: An Ethiopian Olah’s Success Story. Telling the jaw dropping story of a woman who came to Israel at the age of four and proceeded to build herself up to become a successful integrated part of Israeli society, this incredibly inspiring picture will deeply impact those of you touring or experiencing Israel for the first time.

The AACI, Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, is located in Jerusalem, and is an extremely helpful organization if you are thinking about taking your Israel vacation to the next level (i.e. move to Israel). It offers all sorts of programs to benefit these new olim (Israeli immigrants) including job support, legal counseling, and cultural programming galore.

This Yom Ha’atzmaut, be sure to pick up Israeli flags at your local grocery store in order to wave the white and blue with the rest of them. Yom Ha’atzmaut is officially the day that Primer Minister Ben Gurion declared Israel as the Jewish state in 1948.

As Herzl astutely observed, if you will it, it is no dream. The Ethiopian Israeli community attests to the miraculous nature of existence, if one pursues their dreams. On your Israel tour, be sure to get your Israeli tour guide to give you his family’s story of their journey to Israel. Listen to the stories of those around you. Leah: An Ethiopian Olah’s Success Story is just one of millions. Maybe yours will be next. Only time, and some good Israeli travels, will tell.