Hilina’s* tragic story will shock you. It begins with her scars.
The flames have left their mark all along her right side. It was only by God’s grace that she escaped with her life.
No one even remembers anymore why the mob was so angry. The reason was probably trivial. But Hilina was an easy target. They surrounded her house. And then, they set it on fire —
All because she is a member of the Beta Israel, or House of Israel, a descendant of one of the “Lost Tribes of Israel.” Because, they said, she had the “evil eye.”
It didn’t matter that Hilina and her family have roots in the Tach Gayint region of Ethiopia that date back for centuries. All that mattered was that they were different – with a different religion, practicing different customs and traditions.
Their neighbors call them “Falasha,” or unwanted strangers.
Often, their children are not allowed to even sit next to a non-Jewish child at school. They’re denied jobs. Most other villagers refuse to do business with them. When they become victims of crime, the authorities often just turn a blind eye.
As you can probably imagine, that’s opened the door to severe persecution.
Hilina knew this, even as the fire angrily licked at her and the deadly smoke filled her lungs. She knew, as few others can, that she and her people are a target in a new global wave of anti-Semitic attacks.
Yet there is something you can do to counter these attacks – to help those who suffer because of them and, perhaps, even prevent some of the worst of them.
That’s why I’m writing to you today.
Somehow Hilina escaped her burning home and crawled until she got help. Others have not been so lucky. Not long ago, 21 homes in southern Ethiopia were burned to the ground. The only reason? Their leaders were part of the Ethiopian Jewish community.
Eyewitness reports from Tach Gayint document that people of Jewish heritage are being dragged into the streets and killed -- I repeat, for the simple reason that they’re not like their neighbors. And Ethiopia is not the only country where attacks are taking place.
But Ethiopia is one of the countries where you can make a difference. So I ask you, Will you stand with me to make a life-saving difference now?
For more than 50 years, Jewish Voice has made combating anti-Semitism an integral part of our mission. And I can’t think of a better time than during the Passover season to take these efforts to a new level.
This is a time to celebrate our own deliverance – and to extend God’s mercy to those who are suffering.
Most have almost no one to help them but you and me.
You see, in addition to the anti-Semitism they face and the persecution it has led to, they are also living in abject poverty.
Many have never seen a doctor or a dentist. Because of this, the disease runs rampant. Common ailments that would easily be dealt with almost anywhere else go untreated. A simple infection can lead to death …
That’s why, in addition to investing significant resources to fight anti-Semitism, we also work hard to meet the urgent physical needs of these dear, suffering people.
You can probably imagine the relief they feel when a Jewish Voice Clinic arrives in their area to deliver.
- Life-saving basic medical care
- Dental care that alleviates pain and can also save lives threatened by infection
- Care for vision problems such as cataracts, painful trachoma and vitamin A deficiency – restoring sight to many who were blind
- Access to clean, life-giving water
Each $30 you give today will reach one Jewish person or their neighbor with medical care. And helping those neighbors is critical because it goes a long way to overcome the anti-Semitic attitudes that often plague areas where remnants of the “Lost Tribes of Israel” already struggle just to make it from one day to the next.