More than five hundred new olim (immigrants) from Ethiopia celebrated this week as they inaugurated a new Torah scroll at The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Ibim Absorption Center, near Sderot. Just last week, the olim had been forced to sit in bomb shelters and protected rooms due to the very real threat of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
The “Hachnasat Sefer Torah” ceremony is one of the happiest events within the Jewish lifecycle. For the olim, it was not only a celebration of the new Torah scroll, but also an opportunity to express joy at a secure Jewish future in Israel.
Yehuda Sharf, Director of the Aliyah, Absorption & Special Operations Unit at The Jewish Agency said, “This was a moving event and reflects the amazing resilience of these recent olim who, like all the residents of Southern Israel, had to face an onslaught of rocket fire in recent weeks.”
The Sefer Torah was donated by Charles and Ariela Zeloof.