January 4, 2009 / 8 Tevet 5769
Asher Seyum is no stranger to danger. During the Second Lebanon War, Asher was serving as the Director of the Jewish Agency Merom Absorption Center in Safed, when his offices were bombed by a Katyusha rocket. Asher narrowly escaped with his life.
Now, having relocated to Israel's south to serve as the Director of the Beit Canada Absorption Center in Ashdod, Asher won't let terror or war stand in the way of his goal: to help new immigrants integrate into Israeli society.
"The most important thing I learned from my experience in the north is that during a time of crisis, the staff's presence is critical. The first rule is to be there," Asher says knowingly.
When the war first broke out, Asher moved in to the absorption center bomb shelter, refusing to leave his constituents without 24-hour guidance and assistance. "The staff's presence immediately brings the stress level down – helping resident new immigrants know that they have our full support," he explains.
Asher took some sheets, a pillow and towel into an empty room still under construction. Beit Canada was in the process of upgrading its facilities with a new wing when the war broke out. Now, although the construction may be slowed down as a result of the war, activities within the absorption center are continuing as planned – with retreats to the bomb shelters as part of the activities. "We are so strong," Asher affirms, "They tear down a wall – we'll rebuild it. They won't stop us."
To read more about Asher Seyum's amazing life, overcoming great obstacles from Ethiopia to arrive in Israel and advance through schools and the IDF to help others today, click here.