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June 11, 1993 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Israel: On And Off The Tour

The inside of Judith Rove's two-room caravan home.

An Ethiopian woman walks a trail to a
convenience store.


Givat Hamatos was carved out of rocks on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

rocky land it's all built
on are what one sees
from the outside.
Occasionally, a garden
with a plot of dark land-
scaped soil dramatically
speaks out from the
Five hundred families
call Givat Hamatos
home. Over half are
Russian olim, the rest
are Ethiopians and
Israelis who were on the
verge of homelessness.
The average stay is three
to five years. The pur-
pose is job training,

learning Hebrew, educat-
ing the children and
building a pathway to
life as an Israeli.
For Judith Rove, the
life is coming hard. A
midwife in Ethiopia, she
cleans houses here for a
living. Divorced, she
lives with her 5-year-old
daughter, Rifka.
Learning the language is
her biggest challenge.
She wants, though, to
learn as quickly as she
can so she can become a
"My life is good," she

said. "I'm satisfied. The
caravan here is like
home. My dream is to be
here. But now I strug-
She offers soft drinks
and snacks from her
kitchen. A neighbor, a
young man, comes over
with an English-Hebrew
dictionary. Doors in the
community seem to be
open to visitors, for con-
versations over tea and
coffee. Soon, a group of
four other women stop
by. With them is a friend
from Ethiopia. She wears

a gray business suit. She
is a Christian, the wife of
a judge; she is consid-
ered very wealthy. She
brings news of home, and
some gifts.
From across the way
comes the smell of onions
and meat frying in a
skillet. A blond-haired
child races from the front
door with a teasing
laugh back to her grand-
mother. A knock results
in an invitation. Here,
there are no tapestries,
but instead bookshelves
and a much more modern

environment, complete
with a color television
and a VCR.
almost no
English. She says in
HebrEw that she's been
here for two years. That
she's 57 years old hurts
her in the job market. In
Kiev, she was an indus-
trial economist.
"Lo optisma," she says
in a kind of combination,
Hebrew, Russian and
English. She hugs her
granddaughter, Natalia,
and wipes a tear from

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