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Ethiopian Aliyah to Israel, Then and Now

NEW DATE: Sunday, May 23, 2021 11:30 am

Since the early 1950s, The Jewish Agency has assisted more than 90,000 Ethiopians with their immigration to Israel. Hear personal stories, Then and Now, of resilience and strength, and learn about our connection with Ethiopia, Israel, and St. Louis.


Dr. Morris Hartstein, a former St. Louisan, is currently the Director of Ophthalmic Surgery at Shamir Medical Center, Tel Aviv University School of Medicine in Israel. Since visiting Ethiopia with his family to volunteer in 2014, he has made ten more trips, providing eye care to the poorest of the poor, training Ethiopian ophthalmologists and establishing a food program for over 500 malnourished children. Dr. Hartstein, was a member of the delegation that brought over 500 immigrants from Ethiopia to Israel in December. He will talk about his experience and the work he continues to do for so many in Ethiopia.

Shvilei Halev (The Road of the Heart) is a sports program in Yokneam for Ethiopian teens at risk funded by the St. Louis Federation. The program empowers teens by using their sports talents. We will hear from Shalev and David, two teens who became counselors in this program and even won some medals during the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games, and from Shai Baruch, Shvilei Halev CEO.


Dege Feder will share her personal Aliyah story from Ethiopia to Israel, the challenges, the fears and the absorption process in Israel. Dege, a well-known choreographer with an international reputation will also demonstrate several Ethiopian dances and will ask the participants to participate via Zoom.