New Book Group selection for January

book cover, Rescue: The Exodus of the Ethiopian Jews

Rescue: The Exodus of the Ethiopian Jews

by Ruth Gruber, Atheneum Books (1987)

Rescue is the moving account of the lives, struggles and persecutions of the isolated black Jews of Ethiopa – and of their valiant journey across the country to their long-awaited rescue and absorption into Israeli society.

Our Jewish History study group meets Wednesday mornings, 11:00 am until noon (on ZOOM during pandemic restrictions)

About the Author

Ruth Gruber was an award-winning Jewish American journalist, photographer, and humanitarian. Born in Brooklyn in 1911, she became the youngest PhD in the world and went on to author nineteen books, including the National Jewish Book Award–winning biography Raquela (1978). She also wrote several memoirs documenting her astonishing experiences, among them Ahead of Time (1991), Inside of Time (2002), and Haven (1983), which documents her role in the rescue of one thousand refugees from Europe and their safe transport to America.

Review from Publishers Weekly

Descendants, according to legend, of a night of love between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Ethiopia’s 28,000 black Jews historically have been forced to live in isolated poverty and forbidden to emigrate. Rescue reveals how most of these people, with Israeli and American assistance, succeeded in reaching the Promised Land by 1985, after an epic trek across the desert and the overcoming of such obstacles as lions, dangerous river-crossings, would-be rapists and robbers, the constant threat of starvation and the violent enmity of the Marxist Ethiopian government. Gruber, the only American journalist to witness “Operation Moses,” presents it as a great, stirring saga, focusing on the fortunes of a small number of the refugees. A thoroughly satisfying story, topped off with a description of the absorption of the black Jews into Israeli society.


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