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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 21, 1979     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 21, 1979

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Page A-16, HERITAGE. Florida Jewish News. Friday. September 2i, 1979 Vietnamese in Israel Hard Working, Adapting Well by LYNETTE SHIFMAN "We are a hard-working people and we are satisfied with so little," said 27-year-old Kim Duhong, one of the 66 Vietnamese refugees who came to israel nearly two years ago aboard the ship, Yuval. When the refugees arrived in Israel in July, 1977, they came with nothing -- only the clothes on their backs. They went to an absorption center in Ofakim in the southern part of Israel, where they studied Hebrew and learned about their new country. How are the Vietnamese managing? "Fantastic" is the answer Government officials and the refugees themselves are quick to respond. Many work in hotels and restuarants. Others have found jobs in their professions. There are two dentists, two dental techni- cians, a surgeon and an accountant. One family even opened up a restaurant in Jaffa. Two baby boys were born in Beersheba and Ashkelon. Only six have left to join their families in the United States and Germany. "Like me, most of my friends are happy and content to be in Israel. We have integrated well into the society and speak some Hebrew. This is probably why the Israeli Government agreed to absorb 100 more Vietnamese," explained Kim, proudly. According to Kim, the Vietnamese community will do evenflhing possible to help the new arrivals adjust to Israel. "We hope to make it an easy time for them." Cooks the Kosher Way Adapting to Israel has not been too difficult for Kim, his wife, and their two young children. Kim learned some English in Vietnam while working with the Americans. Hebrew is quite a problem, but he manages by mixing Hebrew and English together and using his hands. Before the Communists took over, Kim worked as a soup chef at the Interconti- nental Hotel in Saigon where he cooked gourmet meals for Americans. Now, he is learning to cook the kosher way at the Tel Aviv Sheraton. He likes his job at the hotel and his specialties include chopped liver and schnitzel. The rice and chicken have an oriental flavor, but are, of course, prepared according to kosher specifications. "The four Vietnamese under my supervision listen carefully and follow instruc- tions exactly. They have a great desire to succeed. It is easier for me to teach kosher cooking to Vietnamese than to some Sabras," proclaimed Rabbi Yosi Truner, in charge of the kashrut of that hotel. "We want to do well in Israel. We have no choice, for Vietnam is closed to us. We left for freedom and to get away from the fighting and the anti- democratic and dictatorial Government," stated Kim. Escape Cost $30,000 Getting out of Vietnam is just a question of bribing the right people. To escape and gain passage on a small boat, Kim was forced to pay over $30,000. "We tried to escape three times. The first two times we paid people who could have been Communist informers It could have been dangerous for us," he recalled. Minh Ho Nagwin, aged 16, and a student, also works at the Tel Aviv Sheraton, preparing salads. His brother, a fisherman, brought the refugees out of Vietnam on his boat. He doesn't want to give too many details about the escape from Vietnam because it is dangerous to others trying to leave. However, Minh did mention that the Vietnamese Government places severe restrictions on internal travel and a special document is needed to go from one town to the next. Some officials take bribes in exchange for the special travel documents. Trained in the disciplines of the martial arts of kung fu and karate, Minh enjoys demon- strating his abilities to some of his Israeli friends. "Israelis are amazed by our taining in the martial arts. We learn kung fu and karate at an early age, just like the children here play football or basketball," he explained. Pham Kim lien, who recently opened up the Saigon restaurant in Jaffa with her brother and sister-in-law, is pleased to be in Israel. The family-run restaurant serves Chinese food rather than Vietnamese. Most Israelis are not yet familiar with the Vietnamese cuisine, but gradually Pham Kim hopes to introduce them to it, "1 am extremely happy in Israel. It's good for me. I want to stay. 1 don't feel like a foreigner at all. lsraelis have been fantastic to me. When we established the restaurant, our next-door neighbor helped us. He vs just like a father," declared 34-year-old Pham Kim, who lives in a pleasant apartment with her husband and brother's family. Will Help New Arrivals THIS VIETNAMESE refugee family, carrying Israeli flags, arrived at 1979. "We received help from Pham Kim iscertainthatthe imperialistic Israelis and now we want to new immigrants will like Israel economy help the new group of and fit into Israeli society, plundering Vietnamese. Our family is In Vietnam, Pham Kim was and unem collecting clothes for the new a geography teacher. After the Her refugees, and we will do Communist take-over, she Due Tal, everything to help them to was forced to tell her students a suburb of adjust to life in Israel." that the U.S. was an the freedom in HAPPY gOSH HASHAHA TO OUR JEWISH FRIEN 'SPECIAL TO READERS OF HERITAGE Israel at Thirly 1948-1978. Israel's rebirth, in ence, immigration, war, and the struggle ]or peace. Yours free with every new subscripUorl } The Jerusalem Post - the only Israeli newspaper written in English. The latest in political, military, Our free cultttrtd, tllious Richly IllusUated collector's and business news item. Imported from Israel. each week The Pot is your entry inU) Lhe To rcx civc your free #It, st)h- life, hem'k and very m)ul of Israel .ribc uidiJy. ()r CXtCIHI your today. Wrtttzn. after dl. by pectic otrrent stil:,nption Ifi)r it who don't jutt zl:x}rt the IIL'VVI4. eX1)lrt:R. They live id Ul]l)ly is limih:d amamlmmamm,emmmam C UPLMAILTODAY am am am am m tm am m am am am THB JIRUm&LmM V Send nw my fr gih ot o6 hwNI at Thirty and POST 0/hn. rbtw .bnpm m rny nama o* 0 E,nd m V eun,m bicapn &d u my  'q 4 Po bne label $30 I h 6crtlpqtts d tb2ues, I Jr) Nee c_ s z,v Mall to: G Ik : E3 Yes..Send The JetuMlm Pint to tho rl ,kmamlem Poet on Ihe atthed lilt ( $30. each). And send a beautiful, very speoal il0 E $h Stte gt r.ard In my rmrrm, . New Yodt. NY 10022 L m iln  aim io i  mn ii ii mii i m i mm i im u i m ail me a fa .i m m  May we00take this time to wish all of the Jewish faith the Happiest Ne May the coming year bring with it friendships and may you appreciate friends that you've already made. We this will be a special Holy Season with good health, great joy and an dance of prosperity. Happy R osh Hasha0000 Alberlsons