Seeing snow for the first time

January 10, 2013 by Benjamin Rutland
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Hundreds of Ethiopian Olim (Immigrants)  living in The Jewish Agency for Israel Absorption Centers in Safed have experienced snow for the first time in their lives.

Seeing snow for the first time

Seeing snow for the first time

The children headed outside to play in the snow and feel the natural marvel with their own hands at the start of the snow storm which has blanketed the city.

Three Jewish Agency Absorption Centers are located in Safed which house 2,000 immigrants from Ethiopia who arrived in Israel in recent months. The olim arrived as a part of Operation Dove’s Wings which will bring the Ethiopian Aliyah to a close. The immigrants in Safed, who come from southern Ethiopia, had never seen snow before.

Since the early morning hours, the olim worked with the Jewish Agency’s professional staff to prepare for the bitter cold: school was cancelled, Jewish Agency educators are running enrichment programming for the children, a ‘movie club’ was opened for teenagers and in the apartments of the olim heaters were turned on and hot, steaming soup prepared.

Former Sydneysider Benjamin Rutland is Spokesperson to the Foreign and English Language Media at the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency is funded by the United Israel Appeal.

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