19 Iyar, 5760
In the Spirit of Abie Nathan
Jewish Aid for Victims of the Ethiopian Famine Disaster
Jewish Doctors and Nurses worldwide invited to participate in project
Tali Adgach is returning to Ethiopia tonight for the first time in 16 years, in order to help her native country. Tali, who qualified as a nurse three and a half years ago, now works in the ER at the Assaf Harofeh Hospital. Another doctor and nurse of Ethiopian origin will also be participating in the aid team being organized by the Jewish Agency.
Tali, 27 years old and single, came to Israel in 1984 in Operation Moses together with her parents and five of her siblings. The Adgachs had another child after their arrival in Israel. The tough journey to Israel, from Dabat in the Gondar region, via the Sudan, took more than a year.
After completing her high-school studies at the Israel Agricultural School, Tali enrolled in a pre-academic course at Haifa University. She was one of the first of the Ethiopian olim to enroll in academic studies.
In 1993 she completed the pre-academic course and together with 14 other Ethiopian olim, Tali was accepted to study nursing at Haifa's Rambam Hospital. Although the studies were not easy, Tali qualified as a nurse after completing the three year course and then began working in the ER at the Assaf Harofeh hospital.
"As soon as I heard that a Jewish medical team was being put together, I contacted Micha Feldman, the Jewish Agency's advisor on the Ethiopian community, and asked to be included. Ethiopia is not my home - my home is here in Israel. Nevertheless, the ability to return to one's country of birth and help others, who, even if they are not Jewish, are to a certain extent part of me, is extremely exciting as well as being a professional challenge for me," said Tali this week before leaving for Ethiopia.
The medical delegation leaving tonight for Ethiopia is being led by Dr. Yaakov Adler, who has gained a reputation as a doctor who is always willing to assist populations in disaster areas such as Cambodia and Biafra. Among the volunteers from Israel is Dr. Doron Fekede, an intern at Hadassah Hospital, who completed his medical studies in Ethiopia and made aliyah two years ago, Dr. Choni Rinat from Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Avraham Yetemgnue a nurse at the Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera who is also from Ethiopia, and Tali Adgach. Other Jewish doctors and nurses from other parts of the world have also volunteered to participate.
Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor and Treasurer Chaim Chesler last week met with members of the delegation to wish them success and brief them on the reasons for sending them to Ethiopia.
Dr. Adler, the leader of the delegation, suggested that the operation be named for Abie Nathan, pioneer of humanitarian aid from Israel. Nathan, who is now confined to bed following a stroke, responded tearfully when he heard that the operation had been called Operation Abie.
The medical team will be based at the Dese regional hospital and from there will operate two mobile units from a Landrover jeep.
The operation is being organized by Meir Nitzan, Director General of the Jewish Agency's Israel Department, in conjunction with the Department for International Cooperation at the Foreign Ministry, headed by Haim Divon; Israel's Ambassador to Ethiopia Ariel Kerem; and Jewish Agency emissary in Ethiopia, Zalman Perlmutter.
Jewish doctors and nurses worldwide are invited to participate in the project. The next flight will leave Israel on June 10th.
To participate contact:
of the Jewish Agency's Israel Department
or his assistant: Nili Bergman
The internet address for Operation Abie is: www.partner.org.il/abie
For further information contact: Michael Jankelowitz
Liaison to Foreign Press and Media, JAFI