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Jenner & Block Partner Debbie L. Berman recently returned from a week long trip to Ethiopia and Israel, where she helped 130 Jewish Ethiopians emigrate to Israel as part of the Operation Promise program.
Operation Promise provides Ethiopians of Jewish descent with airfare and transition services to aid their relocation from Ethiopia to Israel. Making ten airline flights in seven days, Ms. Berman assisted in the humanitarian effort by traveling alongside and supporting the émigrés to Israel and by observing the progress of the program in both countries.
Over 10,000 Jewish Ethiopians are on program’s waiting list to move to Israel, Ms. Berman said. Operation Promise has also made improvements to the quality of life for Jewish people in Ethiopia by providing food, medical and education services while they await relocation to Israel, she added.
Upon moving to Israel, the émigrés are provided with accommodations and an education in Israeli culture and Hebrew in order to facilitate their acclimation to the community.
Ms. Berman shared her experience with the Firm upon her return to the United States. At the event the Firm’s Chairman, Jerold S. Solovy, lauded the program and Ms. Berman’s service to others. We are fortunate to live in a nation of plenty, he said, and, “we have the duty to help those in need.”
The United Jewish Communities and the federations of North America, including the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago been helping Ethiopian immigrants since 1985.