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Passover Seders in Ukraine and Ethiopia Target Future Olim

By April 21, 2022CARING, Global News

The Jewish Agency for Israel held a special Passover seder for hundreds of Ukrainian refugees who are staying at the organization’s Aliyah (immigration to Israel) processing centers in the region and are preparing for their departure to Israel. In addition, The Jewish Agency also hosted special seders in Ethiopia for its future olim (immigrants) set to make Aliyah. 

The organization’s main seder event for Ukrainian refugees took place in Warsaw and was led by the organization’s Director of the Aliyah and Absorption Unit and Deputy Director General, Shay Felber. The Jewish Agency’s Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) also hosted parallel seders in Romania and Hungary for future olim who are currently taking refuge there and awaiting their flight to Israel. 

The Jewish Agency worked with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration to publish and translate the Haggadot into Russian. The Haggadot will contain the classic cornerstones of the Passover story, including traditional songs, and are written to be enjoyed by the whole family. 

Meanwhile, in Gondar and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, The Jewish Agency held a seder for thousands of future Ethiopian olim. The Passover seders in Ethiopia were conducted as The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration are set to resume their Tzur Israel initiative, which is being resumed in accordance with the decision made by the Government of Israel. 

The preparations for these seders in Ethiopia was a tremendous undertaking, overseen by the community’s Rabbi Menachem Waldman, and included 100,000 baked matzahs made from 3,000 kilograms of flour locally ground by the community, 400 liters of raisin wine, and a charoset recipe unique to Ethiopian culture that includes dates, bananas, ginger, sugar, and wine. 

The Gondar seder was led by former leader of the community Metiku Yalew, a Jewish educator who made Aliyah to Israel in 2001. In Addis Ababa, the seder was led by Fekadu Maru, the community’s local Jewish educator. Seder leaders were assisted by volunteers from Israel and cantors in the community, and participants will sing special holiday songs in both Hebrew and Aramaic.  

Those seders are in addition to the dozens being held worldwide thanks to Jewish Agency Shlichim stationed around the world. They will help organize seders in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa, Latin America, North America and the former Soviet Union. As for olim in absorption centers here in Israel, they are preparing for their seder’s with the organization’s assistance. 

“From Ukraine to Ethiopia, we’re seeing a very modern exodus which proves that the Zionist dream is continuing to be fulfilled.” Hagoel added. 

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