From Ethiopia and Auschwitz to Israel and San Francisco

From Ethiopia and Auschwitz to Israel and San Francisco

Dear friends,

This Sunday evening,  10 BFL members arrived to San Francisco for our second delegation to the city.  As with any BFL delegation, one of the highlights was meeting with local Holocaust survivors.  It’s always so meaningful for all of us.

One of the soldiers in this meeting, Major Shlomi Bitcha, served as a company commander in second Lebanon war and was hit by bullets in his left leg.

Shlomi was born in Ethiopia and arrived to Israel alone when he was only 6 years old.  He rose to the rank of Major in the IDF and fought for Israel with all of his heart until he was injured.

When we met on Tuesday with our Holocaust survivors,one of the most emotional moments was when one of the survivors, a woman who survived Auschwitz, told us that in her first visit to Israel, a plane with children from Ethiopia landed there as well. It was something she could never forget. Listening to Shlomi tells his story of coming alone to to Israel from Ethiopia, getting injured defending the country, and now meeting in San Francisco, she felt like her personal Jewish story had somehow come full circle.

Last Wednesday was Veterans day in The U.S. There was nothing more relevant for us to do in this important day here, than to bring together our soldiers with American veterans who served in the Vietnam War. This meeting highlighted again the commonalities between Israel and the United States.

The recognition that it’s the same bullets, same blood, same tear and healing.

Shabbat Shalom and may we have a peaceful week in Israel and around the world,