Wubnesh and Bimeraw, Immigrants from Ethiopia
Wubnesh gave birth to 12 children in Ethiopia. 5 children passed away before their 5th birthdays. (Statistically, at that time, that was consistent with Ethiopian child survival rates – but devastating notwithstanding.) In the late 1980’s, she and her family moved to Sudan, as many Jews did at that time in order to make aliyah by way of Sudan. In the refugee camps while they waited for permission to immigrate, 2 of their grown daughters died. Wubnesh and Bimeraw adopted their orphaned grandchildren. Bimeraw then decided that living in Sudan in limbo was untenable, so they all moved back to Ethiopia. In the interim while they had been away, the government seized their property and thus they had no source of income. At that time, two more children died. They finally made their way to Israel with their youngest son, 1 married daughter and her husband, 1 married son with his wife, and their grandchildren. In 1997 their youngest son was a soldier serving in the IDF. He was in one of the helicopters during the tragic crash in the north of Israel, and was killed. He was the glue of the family, not to mention their main financial support. Selah immediately became involved with the family, attending the funeral, providing emergency support in a multitude of ways, and advocating on their behalf during the worst times. This photo was taken 30 days after his death. In the years since, Selah has remained in close touch with the family, visiting often and helping as needs arose: providing emotional and moral support to the family, preventing it from falling apart. A few years ago, the patriarch of the family passed away. Wubnesh now lives in Lod with one of her orphaned grandchildren and his family. On our most recent visit to her earlier this year, she was rocking one of her great grandchildren. Throughout her layered tragedy, and as she goes on, Selah is there, as aid and advocate.