Congregation Shaara Tfille is delighted to invite you to join them in a riveting presentation from former Mossad Agent Yola Reitman. Ms. Reitman will share her leading role impersonating a diving instructor of ‘Operation Brothers’ to rescue Ethiopian Jews. This virtual event will be direct from Israel on Sunday, May 23 at 3pm.
Yola Reitman was enjoying a comfortable life as an El Al flight attendant and avid deep-sea diver. One phone call changed everything - it was her diving instructor who had been recruited by the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, to lead the rescue of thousands of Ethiopian Jews who had fled famine and war into neighboring Sudan. The year was 1977 and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin was determined to rescue the long-lost Jewish tribe, Beta Israel. For centuries, communities of Jews lived in some 500 villages in northern Ethiopia – with a millennia-long yearning to return to Zion. Though Beta Israel’s precise Jewish connection has been a topic of debate, prominent rabbis from the 16th century to more current authorities have recognized their Jewish roots.
Ms. Reitman played a key role in the mission which had her impersonate a diving instructor at a fake resort on the Sudanese shores of the Red Sea, with the sole purpose of clandestinely rescues. Over several years the resort was in operation, about 6,000 Jewish were safely spirited by boat and plane to a new life in Israel. Ms. Reitman, who is an engaging storyteller, will discuss the incredible mission which was fictionalized in a Netflix feature film titled “The Red Sea Diving Resort.”
The lecture will be accompanied by a slideshow revealing true original pictures from the heroic journey from Ethiopia to Jerusalem alongside the real stories behind the scenes. Open to the entire community, the program is complimentary, but donations are encouraged to benefit Congregation Shaara Tfille and The Jewish Community Center for future programs. This presentation is sponsored by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Northeast New York. For reservations, please contact likebertrand518.
Sponsor: Jewish Federation of NENY