obama israelThe first Ethiopian Jewish woman to become Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw, will tour America during the last week of September. Hosted by the National Juneteenth Christian  Leadership Council (NJCLC), her U.S. tour will be followed by a Israel Juneteenth Reconciliation Tour to the state of Israel in 2014.

 

"We are excited about Miss Israel's visit and the opportunity to build closer relationships with the state of Israel through our connection with the Ethiopian Jewish community," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and host of the National & World Day of Reconciliation & Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement. "We, as Americans of African descent, share a common historical bond of going from enslavement to freedom with our Ethiopian Jewish brothers and sisters. We look forward to having a historic Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration in Israel next year."


Rev. Dr. Myers, who leads the Campaign to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday, believes that the annual celebration of Juneteenth affords America a great opportunity to bring reconciliation and healing to one of nation's darkest moments in history. He also believes it is the time to address the need for reconciliation and healing from the legacy of enslavement for not just America, but the entire world, especially Africa.


Rev. Dr. Myers, the first ordained and commissioned medical missionary to America's poorest region, the Mississippi Delta, in the history of the African American church, wants to bring awareness of the needs of Ethiopian Jews.


"There are a number of Ethiopian churches, pastors and ministers in the U.S. that we are working with concerning Miss Israel's visit," states Dr. Myers. Our prayer is to be a blessing by raising money and other resources to help meet the needs of Ethiopian Jews in Israel and in Ethiopia."


"Miss Israel's visit will also bring awareness of black people in the Bible as we acknowledge the African and Jewish lineage of the descendants Ms. Black Israelof King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, who are the Ethiopian Jews," states Dr. Walter McCray, President of the National Black Evangelical Association (NBEA) and author of "The Black Presence in the Bible," an important resource on the subject of black Biblical history. "Our 2014 NBEA Convention in Kansas City next year will continue to celebrate black Bible history. We continue to support Rev. Dr. Myers by our plans to hopefully join him in Israel next year to celebrate Juneteenth."

 

"Together, Jews, Christians, and peoples of African-descent celebrate this occasion by nurturing the shared values of freedom, reconciliation, cultural awareness, and historical ties. Ethiopian Jews trace their lineage to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Understanding the African roots of Hebrews and early Christians during Bible times ties it all together, " explains Dr. McCray.


Aynaw, is an immigrant orphan from Ethiopia who became the first black Miss Israel. She arrived in Israel at the age of 12 years old after both her parents died. She went to live with her mother’s parents who were among thousands of Ethiopian Jews living in Israel.  She had to learn Hebrew from scratch. After finishing high school, she joined the military like most other Israelis. She later worked as a manager  for a shoe shop before becoming Miss Israel.

 

Aynaw  says that it is a great honor not just for her, but the other people that she represents. She hopes her victory will "achieve the acceptance of everyone in Israel." Aynaw was invited to a state dinner by President Obama upon his first visit to Israel.

 

For information on the U.S. tour of Miss Israel during the last week of September, with stops in Washington, DC, Fairfax, VA, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA, from September 23-30, 2013. For schedule, contact Dr. Myers at 662-392-2016; e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Web sites: www.NJCLC.com, www.NationalJuneteenth.com. (Donations for the expenses of the tour through the Myers Foundation are greatly appreciated.)



 

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