Home sweet home

“To save one life is to save a people,” says the Talmud and Janine and Charles Pulman have never swayed from an opportunity to do just that. They will share their recent experiences at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. “From Ethiopia to Israel — The Rescue of a Lost Tribe” is a compelling story of rescue and freedom.
The Pulman’s passion for the Jewish community and a Jewish future enabled them to witness the recent return of 40 Ethiopians to their Jewish roots in Israel. Joining them was their daughter Jodi Rubenstein along with members of the Jewish Agency for Israel. The group accompanied nine families, 40 olim (new immigrants), as they took the first steps to making Israel their new home.
“We knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and, while we’ve been to Israel and we are passionate about Israel, nothing can compare to this,” said Charles who will, through a multi-media presentation, share the story of the resettlement of the families; some with grandparents and some with infants. “This pulled together why we do what we do, and who we are as a people.”
“As involved as we’ve been, we saw what it means to be part of the Jewish People, why Israel matters and why we matter to each other,” he said. “Being a Jew isn’t only a religion, it is being part of a faith, and part of a people. Who else rescues an ancient tribe, with whom they have nothing in common, other than they are Jews?”
“Whether addressing communal needs at Jewish Family Service or emphasizing the importance of Israel, Janine and Charles, as dedicated members of our community, are guided by passion,” said Congregation Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Stefan Weinberg. “We are thrilled to invite our greater community to experience their story firsthand, and to take advantage of the opportunity to listen to how their lives have been influenced by the manner in which they care for others. The Pulmans understand what it means to be concerned with the fate of all Jewish people.”

The Pulman family joined the Golems and eight other families as they made aliyah and journeyed from Addis Ababa to Israel this summer. Standing from left are Tangute Golem, Feteleein Golem, Jodi Pulman Rubenstein, Atsde Golem, Janine Pulman, Tadlo Golem and Charles Pulman. Kneeling, from left, are Antebet and Wolde Golem. | Photo: Courtesy Pulman Family

The group flew from Israel to Addis Ababa and then to Gondar to spend three days witnessing how the lives of those relocating went from the pre-modern extremes without running water to high tech 20th century. “This is a people,” said Charles, “whose lineage is charted by an oral history for seven generations and who, despite being discriminated against as Jews, practiced their Judaism by the Torah, as it was written, before Purim, before there was Chanukah.”
At the airport in Israel, an image from film came to life as the Pulmans witnessed many of the olim dropping to the ground to kiss it upon their arrival. From the airport, the families were taken to absorption centers where they received health, education and vocational assistance, preparing them for their new lives.
The event is open to the entire community and is free of charge; breakfast is included. The program is sponsored by Congregation Anshai Torah’s Hazak, Men’s Club and Sisterhood organizations.
To RSVP or for more information, call 972-473-7718 or email receptionist@anshaitorah.org
— Submitted by Deb Silverthorn on behalf of Congregation Anshai Torah.

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