Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Our Visitors

Two visitors stayed with us this week. They come from the country called Israel, where we visited last summer. Their names are Shlomi and Micha. They told us and also a lot of other people about their lives, which are very interesting.

Micha has spent his life trying to help people who have problems. A long time ago (in 1991) Micha was in Ethiopia, trying to help a group of Jewish people escape from a very troubled situation. These people had left the villages where they had once been farmers, and they needed a place to live. Many children had already left for Israel. Micha wanted to help families get back together. Israel always tries to help rescue Jewish people who are in danger in faraway places like Ethiopia, which is in Africa.

Micha helped to organize 34 airplanes to take 14,324 people to Israel in less than two days. Now all these people can have a better life and live in freedom. Since then, Micha has worked with the Ethiopians who came to Israel. A lot of other people volunteer to help too, and he works with them. When people move to a new country that is very different from their birthplace, sometimes it's hard for them, and other people can help them and their children. They need help understanding school lessons like counting, writing the alphabet, reading, learning science and math, using computers, and other things. They need help going to doctors' appointments and getting jobs. They need help learning a new language. Micha's volunteers especially help when new Israelis have a problem in their family.

Shlomi came to Israel from Ethiopia when he was six years old (in 1984). He went to school in Israel, and he learned Hebrew and English. His first language was Amharic, the language of Ethiopia. He did well in his classes, and he kept on going to school until he graduated. Later he became an officer in the Israeli army. Now he is also studying at a university in Haifa, Israel.

Last year there was a very bad war in Israel. Shlomi was hurt fighting in the war. He is much better now. Micha helped Shlomi when he was hurt, and made sure his wife and children were ok. Shlomi showed us some videos of his wife and their little girls. He showed a big group of people in Ann Arbor a video about his war experience, and talked to all of us about it.

Now that he is better, Shlomi is still a soldier, a father, and a student, but he has also become a volunteer to help other people. He is especially helping a little girl whose parents are from Ethiopia. He is helping her learn English and math so that she will stay in school, do well, and graduate.

(For grownups who want more information about the airlift in 1991 and history of Ethiopian Jews: Operation Solomon - The Fulfillment of a Dream. For information on Micha's organization: Selah ICMC - Israel Crisis Management Center)

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