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PAGE 20A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 5, 2013 " Affirming Israel's 'right to exl00 t in security and peace Church of England, [and] my own very clear and very fluent feeling, is that the State of Israel is a legitimate state like every other state in the world and has a right to exist in security and peace within internationally agreed boundaries," he told a press conference at the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. British Jewish groups criti- cized Welby last year for ab- staining fromavote in the Gen- eral Synod that endorsed the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), an organiza- tion of Christianswho monitor By Rachel Marder JNS.org JERUSALEM--The Arch- bishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, affirmed Israel's "right to exist in security and peace" during his visit to the Jewish state last Thursday. Welby, on a five-day tour of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories last week, met with members of the Greek Orthodox Patri- archate in Jerusalem, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, and prayed at the Western Wall. "The clear policy of the human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories. The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the program lacks an understanding of the conflict. EAPPI's "ecumenical accompaniers" have "almost no grasp of the suffering of normal Israelis," it said. In May, Welby said he regretted not voting against the motion, saying it did not accurately reflect the complex- ity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Jerusalem last Thursday, Welby called on all people in the region to live in peace. "All the people of the region From 'scared child" to Miss Israel By Maxine Dovere/JNS.org NEWMILFORD, N J--When Yitayish "Titi" Ayenew, the first black Miss Israel, was a young orphanwho moved from Ethio- pia to Israel, itwas learning the Hebrew language that turned around her fortunes. "Then, I was a scared child," Ayenew, 22, told stu- dents at Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, N.J., last month."I did not know what would be my future, or that I would do the things I am doing today. For me, an inner change occurred when I over- came the obstacle of learning Hebrew. I am in control of my destiny--erything is possible. My life is entirely different, both because of the things I have done and now, knowing what I want to do." Crowned Miss Israel in Feb- ruary, Ayenew, the first woman from Ethiopia to hold the title, said in an interview with JNS. org, "Being Miss Israel is a responsibility I take seriously." Ayenew's heavily scheduled visit to the U.S. from June 9-14 included speaking engage- ments, fundraising events, and time with celebrities of the Jewish world. She told JNS.org her trip was "a wonderful op- portunity to meet with many people:' On June 14 at Solomon Schechter in New Milford, N.J., Ayenew recounted her journey from a small village in Ethiopia to the state of Israel, which she described as "a modern place, with modern schools, where one is expected to be part of a modem society." Ayenew grew up in a Zionist family in Ethiopia. "We always felt we belonged in Israel and were eager to get there; she told the Solomon Schechter students. Ayenew's grandparents immigrated to Israel in 2000, and her parents had expected to join them, but bothofthem died. Ten-year-old Yitayish and her brother were cared for by their aunt, and two years later, they arrived in Israel with the help of the Jewish Agency for Israel. They lived with their grandmother in Hetanya. Asked to recall her thoughts upon arriving in Israel, Ayenew told the students, "The first thing I wanted was to learn Hebrew, and of course to get to my [andmothefs home. It was challenging for rne and for alltheotherolim(immigrants). Remember, I was speaking Amhari and had to leam He" brew quickly and well--inside and ouL" Maxine Dovere Yitayish Ayenew, the first black Miss Israel and also the first woman of Ethiopian heritage to win the crown, poses with the Israeli flag at Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergan County, N.J., on June 14. In the Israel Defense Forces, Ayenew supervised a unit of army police charged with maintaining border check- points outside of Jerusalem. Her soldiers screened Palestinians and Israelis going in and out of the country. "It's a very responsible job," she said. "The safety of Israel is dependent on security in- spections. Young people have to learn to check for anything that could be a problem." That "wasn't easy," she said. "I recommend that each of you go to the [Israeli] army," she advised the students. "In addi- tion to serving Israel, it is a place for personal growth. I learned things in the IDF I could not learn in any other place. By 21, I had faced so many challenges, I am prepared for anything that may come.., and now, I have to learn English, too!" Addressing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and those who char- acterize Israel as an apartheid state, Ayenew said those critics of Israel "speak about things they do not know." "They have not been in Israel and think the way we do things is negative," Ayenew told JNS. org. "I can say what Israel is for me is how Israel accepted me, educated me, gave me all the op- tions to do all that I want to do." "I was without mother, without parents,with nothing," she added. "We were welcomed, loved, offered every opportunity to dream and to succeed. With- out Israel, I would have been in avillage somewhere, probably a mother by now, with no educa- tion, no dreams." Ayenew's Miss Israel crown was not the first major ac- complishment for Ethiopian women who have immigrated to the Jewish state. In a period of three decades, like women from other ethnic communities in Israel, Ethiopian women have reached virtually every level of Israeli society, including the of- ricer corps of the IDF, respected positions in academic institu- tions, diplomatic roles, and the Knesset. But not every immigrant in Israel--from whatever ori- gin-is successful in his or her adopted home. To enhance the opportunities for the children of Netanya, the city where she was raised with her grandmother and which is now home to the largest number of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, Ayenew has partneredwith the Netanya Foundation to raise awareness about its Ezorim project, which provides a community center offering after-school activities including sports, music, art, and dance. "It takes the kids off the streets," Shlomi Waroner, CEO of the Netanya Foundation, who accompanied Ayenew on her U.S. tour, told JNS.org. Ayenew has returned to Ethiopia twice. Her first trip, three years ago, was a private family visit. Soon after her tri- umph in the Miss Israel contest this year, she traveled there again, this time with an Israeli news team that documented her journey. During this second visit, she successfully arranged for the aliyah of her cousin who had been leftbehind in Ethiopia. "Part of being Jewish is being in the state of Israel," she told the Solomon Schechter students, with visible emotion. "To be a Jew is to keep the tradition, to continue to be who we are. I am proud to be a Jew." without exception from what- ever background they come, whether it's Israeli or Pales- tinian or any other, also have the right to exist in peace and security within properly agreed frontiers," he said. "And those who support the legiti- mate right of people to exist in peace, justice and security are wonderful people and it's a very important thing that they are there and that they keep us on task." With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerryarriving lastThurs- day for his fifth visit to Israel since he began his term, Welby said he hopes Kerry will suc- ceed in reaching a peace deal. "Obviously anyone who is seeking to put together a settle- ment in this area, we must all wish them God speed and every blessing in what they're do- ing," Welby said. "He is clearly personally deeply committed and I don't think anyone in this area has any illusions about the complexity about the task he's undertaking." But Welby said the rich religious heritage of the re- gion inspired his trip, not the conflict. "This is the cradle of three great world faiths. It's the cradle of our own faith, of the Christian faith. It's where Jesus lived and walked and died and rose again, and it is in so many ways the center of the world, in so many extraordinaryways. What possible reason could there be to delay?" he said. Soon after becoming arch- bishop in November 2012, Welby discovered that his father was Jewish. He also recently learned that he had Rachel Marder Justin Welby, the Arch- bishop of Canterbury, at a press conference at the Israeli Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel last Thursday. lost relatives in the Holocaust. In light of his family's his- tory, he called his visit to Yad Vashem "an extraordinarily personal and emotional mo- ment," but declined to go into greater detail. The archbishop offered comfort to Christians in the region who are experiencing persecution by Islamist groups and others, but urged them to turn the other cheek in the face of attacks. "I've had a lot of experience of working in areas where there's been mass killing of Christians," he said. "I've stood by the mass graves of Chris- tians who have been killed within days while their killers were still watching. I have no illusions about this." "It's the hardest thing we can ever say to people, but AT LAKE MARY The Wait Is Over... Now featuring the Cordova! Brand New Assisted Living and Memory Care Community Oakmonte Village provides a quality lifestyle as a beautiful luxury se- nior living community in the heart of prestigious Lake Mary. Our campus includes Independent Living apartments, Tuscany influenced villa homes, assisted living and memory care. Jesus tells us to love our enemies," he added. "It's the hardest thing when you're being violently attacked. It's an indescribable challenge. But God gives grace so often for that, to love our enemies." With former South African leader Nelson Mandela still in critical condition, Welby of- fered his prayers for him, his family and the country. "We are praying constantly for President Mandela," he said. "Especially for his fam- ily, for the people of South Africa and for peace in their hearts and minds at what must be a very traumatic time for them." The archbishop met with Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt's Coptic Church, the Grand Imam Sheik Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb, and HMA Ambassador James Watt in separate meetings in Cairo last Monday. Last Wednesday, Welby met with the Jordanian Foreign Minister NasserJudeh in Amman to discuss instabil- ity in the Middle East, includ- ing the dire situation for Syrian refugees, and opportunities for building peace between religions. "It was a privilege to be so warmly received with such hospitality by the for- eign minister," Welby said in statement. "We had a very productive discussion about the political situation in the region, and especially about how we might cooperate to help foster peace, and secure the traditional fabric of the whole society in the region." King Abdutlah II visited Lambeth Palace last November. ii i ii I .... Villas & Independent Living 407-732-5800 Assisted Living & [ Memory Care 407-444-0122 I 1001 Royal Gardens Circle Lake Mary, FL 32746 I www.OakmonteVillage.com ...... i00i! il i ii ii ii fill ili l i! ii i/i ii iiiiii