The week before the Jewish High Holidays, two airplanes from Ethiopia brought 450 people on ‘aliyah’ – immigration to Israel. Detroit’s Rev. DeeDee Coleman was invited to be on board one of those planes.
This Sunday, October 6 at 1:30 pm (immediately following services), Rev. Coleman will be sharing photos and reflections from her participation as a witness to the airlift of Ethiopian Jews. She has graciously opened her church to those who wish to hear about her journey. Russell Street Baptist Church, 8700 Chrysler Drive, Detroit, MI 48211(313-875-1615)
The Reverend Dr. Deedee Coleman Travels to Ethiopia
With a special delegation of top Israeli officials to witness “Operation Dove’s Wings’, the transport and arrival of 450 Ethiopian Jews to Israel
The Reverend Dr. Deedee M. Coleman, Pastor of Detroit’s Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church,travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by invitation of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ)in late August, to witness what is believed to be the last airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. [Previous airlifts dating back to 1985 have brought Israel’s Ethiopian Jewish population to over 100,000 today.]
Reverend Coleman travelled to Ethiopia for the opening ceremony to give honor to the Ethiopian aliyah, the returning of Jews to their homeland. The ceremony was attended by leading Israeli officials of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, along with IFCJ and Jewish Agency for Israel officials. Reverend Coleman was honored to be the only African American Baptist minister on this historic trip.
Reverend Coleman boarded one of two planes carrying 450 Ethiopian immigrants that arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Wednesday, August 28, 2013. The immigrants were then greeted by relatives already living in Israel.
Once in Israel, a closing ceremony took place with heart-warming remarks by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of IFCJ, sponsor of the airlift, Ethiopian Jewish immigrants cheering - The People of Israel Lives, Am Yisrael Chai as they realized that their prayers had been answered in a return to Israel.
“I was overwhelmed, as I witnessed the fulfillment of Scripture taking place in the lives of these precious people. I am a witness to these events and do cherish the kindness that I have received and continue to receive from the Israeli government. I am also impressed in the way Israel has taken its people in, to welcome them home and give them a better hope for tomorrow”, said Reverend Coleman.
Reverend Coleman first travelled to Israel in 2007 with the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) and continues to host leaders on trips to Israel annually, visiting the Holy Land as well as educating persons on Israel’s security and safety, along with the regional issues that affect Israel and United States.
Russell Street Baptist Church in Detroit honors its Pastor to be asked to witness such an historic event.