09 Nov Soul sisters: Reuniting a family through aliyah
The countdown to November’s #OperationMenashe aliyah flights from India is ticking fast – just one week and 162 Bnei Menashe will be winging their way from Manipur to their new homes in Israel. The buzz of anticipation can be felt in both countries.
One particular woman can barely contain her excitement.
“I don’t even know how I will get to the airport,” Chen Kongsai told us, “but nothing will stop me from being there!”
Chen made aliyah 15 years ago. Her sister Esther immigrated to Israel as well. But they have not seen their third sister, Eva Tunglut, since then. Nor have they seen Eva’s four children: Linor, Ro’ii, Vevee and Chanan.
Linor, the oldest, is now 27, so the last time she saw her Aunt Chen, she was just 12-years-old. Fortunately, modern technology has allowed them to be in regular touch, Chen says, so she’s been able to maintain a relationship with her sister’s children.
While Chen has been waiting for the coming reunion for years, the anticipation became even more palpable when her first cousins, also three sisters, had a similar reunion a few years ago. Two of the sisters were already in Israel; they greeted Nira, the third, at Ben-Gurion Airport after not seeing each other for 22 years.
That reunion was made even sweeter, as they all celebrated Nira’s wedding in Israel shortly thereafter.
Chen is an active member of KeepOlim, a Israeli organization that supports immigrants from all countries. KeepOlim founder LiAmi Lawrence is pulling out all the stops to make Chen’s family reunion everything she ever dreamed of. Several members of KeepOlim will be coming to the airport with Chen to share in her joy and to witness the many family reunions that will take place next week.
Shavei Israel has sponsored #OperationMenashe for the past several years, bringing hundreds of immigrants to the Holy Land. But there are still nearly 7,000 Bnei Menashe in India and we remain steadfast in our determination to bring them all home. You can read more about #OperationMenashe on our website.
To support #OperationMenashe directly, please visit our Support page today. Time is running out! With your help, Ben-Gurion Airport will be transformed into a massive family reunion in less than a week!
If you’d like to join us in greeting the Bnei Menashe immigrants, please contact us – phone numbers and email are on our website, too.