Hadera holds remembrance ceremony for Ethiopian Jews who died on their way to Israel

A round-up of local affairs.

Allenby interchange (photo credit: ZVI ROGER)
Allenby interchange
(photo credit: ZVI ROGER)
NORTH Hadera held a memorial ceremony last week to commemorate the Ethiopian Jews who died during their exodus to Israel. Their mass journey began in the late 1970s, from Ethiopia over the border to Sudan.
The Ethiopians who survived the dangerous crossing were relegated to refugee camps in Sudan, where they were forced to keep their Jewish identities a secret until being rescued by Israeli planes. On their journey and in the camps, many suffered from epidemics, hunger, harassment, rape and robbery, and approximately 4,000 people died.
The ceremony took place at a cemetery where there is a monument dedicated to those who perished. It was attended by Hadera Municipality director-general Yaakov Zigdon, municipal representatives, Immigration and Absorption Ministry representative Chai Asulin, community leaders and public figures.
At the ceremony, Zigdon said the long, dangerous and exhausting journey from Ethiopia to Israel is burned into the minds of all those who endured it. “Uncertainty pervaded this long journey,” he said. “Fear, hunger, physical and mental hardship. The elderly, women and children endured journeys of the type that trained fighters struggle with.”
He added that those who completed the journey face another one “to gain full acceptance, equality and recognition of the Ethiopian community’s great contribution to the Zionist enterprise.”
The Hadera ceremony is held every year on a different day to the main state ceremony, which is held in the capital on Jerusalem Day, to allow members of the community to attend both services.
Allenby interchange opens to traffic The Allenby interchange in Haifa opened to traffic this week following an inauguration ceremony on Monday that was attended by Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, Transportation Ministry director-general Uzi Itzhaki and Jacky Wakim, the chairman of the Yefe Nof company.
Six months ago, the Yefe Nof company began working to complete the bridge; casting concrete and iron parapets, paving the bridge and street with asphalt; and installing traffic lights on the upper connection of the bridge that leads to the Allenby interchange.
Yefe Nof CEO Avishai Cohen said the completion of this main road between the interchange and ZIM Square will make the Bat Galim neighborhood more accessible and will improve the quality of life of the thousands of residents who use these roads on a daily basis. The interchange connects between Hahagana Boulevard at the southern entrance to Haifa and Allenby Street and the Bat Galim neighborhood at a cost of NIS 35 million.
CENTER Pedestrian severely injured in road accident A 70-year-old pedestrian was seriously injured in a car accident in Petah Tikva on Sunday. The woman was taken to The Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus after a car hit her on Lohamei Haghetto Street in the city. Police opened an investigation into the circumstances of the accident.
Jaffa square dedicated to Christian Arab leader Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai last week unveiled the new name of a square in Jaffa dedicated to the late Joseph Deek. Deek, who died of cardiac arrest at the age of 58 in 2009, was a Christian Arab community leader and diplomat who worked for Jewish-Arab coexistence in Israeli society. The ceremony was attended by more than 300 people, including senior officials in the public sector, diplomatic corps, and religious and society leaders.
Among the participants at the ceremony were former city council member Ahmed Masharawi, who led the process to give the square its new name; Tel Aviv deputy mayor Meital Lehavi; Foreign Ministry officials including director-general Nissim Ben-Shetrit; diplomatic representatives from the US, Norway and the Netherlands; Archbishop Damaskinos of the Orthodox church in Jaffa; Victor Zakak, the head of the Orthodox Association in Jaffa; Muhammad Zibdeh, the head of the Jaffa Shari’a Court; and sheikhs and priests from various communities.
Deek is the third Israeli Arab in the history of Tel Aviv-Jaffa to be born after 1948 and have a landmark named after him. He received the honor in light of his extensive public work and service to the local Christian community.
Young Bat Yam dancers take triple gold A Bat Yam dance group from the “Dance It” dance school came in first in three different categories in the national “Stars of Dance” contest. Two groups from the troupe, which comprises 32 girls, won the hip-hop contests in two age categories, as well as the jazz contest in the high-school age category.
This is the first time that the “Stars of Dance” contest has taken place. Some 10 groups representing different cities competed in the event. The competition was held in Kibbutz Ramat Hakovesh, and was open to all dance groups, with a limit on one group per city.
Annual skateboard contest held in Tel Aviv The sixth annual “Vans Shop Riot Israel” competition was held this week at the Galit Skatepark in Tel Aviv.
The annual event takes place at one of Israel’s state-of-the-art skate parks. The winning team, Gili’s Skateshop of Jerusalem, was declared the No. 1 skateboard team in Israel, marking its fifth win. Seven skateboard teams participated in the contest, with each team comprising four members. The winning team will represent Israel at a world championship.
SOUTH Sderot delegation visits Berlin to mark Israel-Germany jubilee A delegation from the Sderot Municipality traveled to the Steglitz-Zehlendorf borough of Berlin last week to celebrate 50 years of Israel-Germany ties and 40 years of twin city relations between the host and guest cities. The delegation included deputy mayor Mark Ifraimov, deputy mayor Yehudit Uliel Malka, and municipality director-general Tal Toran.
Toran said that he was particularly moved by the visit, because he participated in a delegation from Sderot to the Berlin borough as a boy. “It has come full circle,” he said. “Now, as director-general of the Sderot Municipality, I come here to strengthen the relationship and to promote youth delegations from the city, who will experience the same as I did in the past.”
A group from Kiryat Bialik, which is twinned with Zehlendorf, joined the Sderot delegation, and was led by Kiryat Bialik Mayor Eli Dokorski. The Israeli delegation, accompanied by representatives of the Israeli Embassy in Germany and the mayor of the borough, Norbert Kopp, visited the parliament building in Berlin and the remains of the Berlin Wall. The following day, the delegation participated in a ceremony to mark the longstanding ties with the Israeli cities. It also toured Berlin’s Wannsee suburb, where the Final Solution was planned, and Sderot Square, which was inaugurated in 2009.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi lauded his delegation’s visit as important for strengthening youth, sports and cultural relations between the twin cities.
Police arrest 40 for drug dealing in Ashdod Forty people suspected of selling cocaine and marijuana were arrested Monday morning, police reported.
All of the suspects arrested are residents of Ashdod and were also arrested under allegations of involvement in selling weapons and involvement in violent activities. In addition, 10 vehicles were taken into police custody, where they will remain for six months.
Two teens arrested over mobile phone theft Police arrested two 14-year-old Ashkelon residents on Sunday on suspicion of stealing phones from schoolchildren. Police suspect that on several occasions, the pair waited for students outside schools and then stole their mobile phones. The two were taken for questioning.