Dr. Masresha Dessie in Israel. Photo owned and provided by Dr. Dessie for commercial distribution by Times of Israel
I’m a family therapist who’s supposed to be on vacation. The only problem — I can’t rest. Because Jewish families in Ethiopia haunt my dreams as I try to sleep here in the USA.
In Israel, the angels, hidden and known, work tirelessly. Among them, the unstoppable Ministering Angel P’nina Tamano-Shata with her Immigration and Absorption Team fighting for Aliya. Jewish Agency staffers like Shira Aman who sacrifice time with their own children to rescue the Jewish children of Ethiopia.
I wake, heart churning with thoughts of Dr. Masresha Dessie in Rehovot. He waits, having made Aliya without his family. Not seeing his three year old daughter Yan and wife Beza (“Redemption” in Amharic) for almost two years.
Dr. Masresha Dessie with wife Beza at her 2016 university graduation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The couple had married seven months prior. Photo provided with permission for publication by Dr. Dessie
The final flight of Operation Tzur Israel before the upcoming Israeli elections will bring 300 olim from Ethiopia. “Two seats only,” Dr. Dessie says, “that’s all I need.” I know that Israel needs future heart surgeons like Dr. Dessie, accountants like Beza and brilliant youth of Ethiopian descent like Yan to power the future of the Promised Land.
Dr. and Mrs. Dessie’s three year old daughter Yan in Ethiopia. Photo by Yosi Photo Studio, Addis Ababa provided with permission for publication by Dr. Dessie
About the Author
Neal H. Brodsky, a family and somatic psychotherapist, writer and activist lives in Connecticut near NYC. A contributor to the 2021 Routledge International Handbook of Play, Therapeutic Play & Play Therapy, he practices online during Covid-19 and is affiliated with the Israel Center for Self Transformation. Originally trained as a script writer, his career includes ten years writing grants supporting families in subsidized housing, more than a decade in marketing positions at major U.S. public television stations and programming management at HBO. Neal curates One Jewish Family: News of Ethiopian Jews social media feeds on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. He also writes for publication in The Forward and Medium.