- Free to Emigrate

In 1994, the doors open again and the last group of Jews begins to leave Syria. This time, they are allowed to take their money and possessions. By the time the rescue is complete, 3000 Jews have made it safely to the United States. Nearly half of them continue on to Israel, including the chief rabbi, Abraham Hamra, who felt it was his duty to stay until the last Jews had emigrated.

“We didn’t have the freedom in Syria. Just to come out of Syria and know more about religion freely, that was enough. That was Dayenu, you know, like when the people came out of Mitzrayim and they say that only Hashem would take us out of Mitzrayim and cross the Yam Suf, that was Dayenu. The Syrian people say the same thing.” – Violet Farhi Chkouri, Episode 7

(Image of Rabbi Hamra after emigrating to Israel, at the Western Wall. Courtesy of the National Photo Collection, Israel.)

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