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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 3, 2011 / 27 Teves, 5771

Baruch Tegegne, Who Saved Ethiopian Jews

By Shmarya (Scott) Rosenberg



A close friend remembers a largely forgotten hero


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Early one morning in the late 1940s, an elderly Ethiopian Jew stood with his young grandson at the top of a small mountain, waiting for sunrise. As the sun broke over the horizon, the old man, pointing toward the sun, said, "Remember, this is the way to Jerusalem." That young boy was Baruch Tegegne, who died in Israel on December 27 after a long illness. He was 65 years old and, upon his death, could look back to see tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews whose journey to Israel took the path he blazed.

In the early summer of 1984, Tegegne and I went together to Washington to meet with members of Congress, their staffers and senior State Department officials. One of those officials, Princeton Lyman, was brought to tears by Tegegne's description of the persecution that Ethiopian Jews were suffering and by my insistence that, especially because of its failure to rescue Jews during the Holocaust, America's government was now morally bound to save Ethiopian Jews. If what we were saying was true, Lyman told us, the United States would not stand idly by. Five months later, Lyman would play a key role in Operation Moses, the massive 1984 American and Israeli rescue of Ethiopian Jews.


REMEMBERING BARUCH

"…Underlying all the achievements with respect to [the rescue of the] Falashas was the work of Baruch Tegegne…"
            — Rudy Boschwitz

U.S. Senator (R - MN, 1978-1991)

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights

Commission (Geneva Switzerland - 2005)

President G.H.W. Bush's Emissary to Ethiopia (1991)

"Baruch was crucial in bringing the forgotten Jews of Ethiopia to the consciousness of Israel and the Jewish world. As such, he was instrumental in helping save his own people. History will remember Baruch Tegegne as someone who was key in the ingathering of an exiled people."

        — David Makovsky, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and Director, Project on the Middle East Peace Process, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; former chairman, World Union of Jewish Students.

"Baruch was a gentle, giant man, who more than anything lived the Hillel principle 'if i am not for me, who will be'. He influenced scores of leaders, young and old, and he led by example. Baruch changed my life like many others, and is truly a hero of the Jewish people. It is said that he who saves one person, it is a if he saves an entire world-Baruch saved a universe."

          — Moshe Ronen, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress; former president of the North American Jewish Students Network.


Tegegne's key role in this rescue began when, at age 11, he was brought to Israel along with 14 other Ethiopian Jewish children. The government's idea was that these children would study modern Judaism and learn about Israel, graduate high school and then return to Ethiopia to teach. When Tegegne returned in 1964, he learned that the school where he would have taught had been burned to the ground by anti-Semites.

A decade later, he was forced to flee Ethiopia after the new communist government accused him — perhaps correctly, although this was never clear — of being an Israeli agent. Tegegne fled on foot, beginning a journey that would last almost three years: first to Sudan, through a route that would later be used, thanks to him, by tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews fleeing tyranny and starvation. Penniless, he made his way westward to Nigeria, where he got work on a cargo ship and sailed around the West Coast of Africa, through the Straits of Gibraltar and through the Mediterranean, to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, and on to Singapore. There, illness forced him off the ship, and regulations forced him to return to Nigeria. At that point, with what he'd saved, he flew to Rome, where Israeli consular authorities refused to give him a visa. It was only Tegegne's chance meeting with a senior official of the Jewish Agency for Israel whom he had known in Ethiopia years earlier that got him on an El Al plane to Ben Gurion International Airport.

Months after landing in Israel, he met with Prime Minister Menachem Begin and pitched a plan to rescue Ethiopian Jews through Sudan and Rome. Begin liked it, and a rescue was hatched, only to be aborted because of opposition from parts of Israel's intelligence community and political elite who resisted the notion that these black Africans were, indeed, Jews and worthy of rescue.

His story could have ended there, but it didn't. He went to Canada, married a nice Canadian Jewish woman, had a daughter, ran a diner and all the while worked to save his people. With financial help from American activists, he brought dozens of Ethiopian Jews to Rome, where embarrassment, not compassion or duty, forced Israeli diplomats to grant visas. And that brought the idea of a mass rescue of Ethiopian Jews back to life.

That's how Tegegne and I found ourselves in Washington on a hot summer day in 1984: an Ethiopian Jew who couldn't stop saving his people long enough to have a personal life or good health, and a young Jewish activist with the World Union of Jewish Students — ultra-Orthodox then, and with a long, flowing red beard to prove it — walking the halls of Congress and the State Department, hoping to get someone, anyone, to listen.

More than any other person, Baruch Tegegne saved Ethiopian Jews. His 45 years of nearly nonstop advocacy took his health and, eventually, his life. But Tegegne, whose first name means "blessing," will live on in his daughter, Yaffa, whom he loved so much, and in the lives and journeys of the 100,000 Ethiopian Jews who now call Israel home, largely because of him.

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© 2011, Reprinted with permission of the Forward.