Teka Tezare, niece, Ora Mengistu, and sister, Teka Deodito.
December 25, 2008 / 28 Kislev 5769
Ora Mengistu is a senior counselor at the Jewish Agency's Sapir Absorption Center in Kiryat Yam. Ora never imagined that one morning, she would meet a new Ethiopian immigrant, over 70 years old, who would point her out and tell her: "You are my niece. I have not seen you since I parted from your father 30 years ago."
The two fell on each other's shoulders and decided to light the Hanukkah candles in unison this year. This truly represents the closing of a circle.
This is how their story unfolded.
Ora Mengistu has enjoyed many years of success in working with olim from Ethiopia at the Sapir Absorption Center. She supports and assists them in all realms of life as they take their first steps in Israel.
As fate would have it, the remaining members of her family in Ethiopia made aliyah to Israel from Ethiopia on August 5, 2008 and by chance, they were absorbed at the Sapir Absorption Center where she is working.
Immediately upon the arrival of the family members from the airport to Kiryat Yam, the aged head of the household, Teka Tezare, cast one glance at those welcoming him at the absorption center and his eyes immediately fell upon Ora, whom he had never met, and said:
"You are my brother's daughter." The immediate and amazing identification by the father of the family touched off emotions, embraces and tears of joy that enveloped all the participants in the welcoming ceremony.
Teka Tezare's family numbers nine people: the father of the family: Teka Tezare (74), his wife, his six children and their grandchild. They had been living for more than 30 years in the Ethiopian village of Koldava, totally cut off from other members of their extended family, given the absence of available transportation and communications to their village.
The father of the family recounts that every day and night, he would pray to God to allow him to arrive in the land of Israel and one day reunite with his family. Ten years ago, when his village was linked to communications, he was informed that all the members of his family made aliyah to Israel 26 years ago in Operation Moses. These were: his brother, Teka Jesman (78), his wife, and their nine children. (Ora's family).
Today, after more than 30 years of separation and with the closing of the circle, the brothers and their families were fortunate to reunite. They were able to celebrate the Hanukkah festival for the very first time with their extended family as they realized their dream of making aliyah to Israel.