20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Keren Hayesod-UIA annual dinner highlights its efforts to reach immigrants from across the globe E-mail

“I was only eight years old when I was called ‘a stinking Jew’ for the first time,” Sasha Karpenko told the close to 200 guests gathered at Hong Kong’s Jewish Community Centre on 7 May for the annual Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal dinner.

Welcoming the guests, Jonathan Zeman spoke about the need to strengthen the State of Israel, and applauded the work of the Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal in doing that.

Robert Dorfman, Chairman of the Hong Kong Campaign, praised the community and the attendees for their staunch support of Israel, noting how a strong Israel makes it possible for Jews around the world to live as Jews.

Sasha, now 25, explained that when she was growing up in Ukraine, she knew virtually nothing about Israel, and even less about Judaism. But her Jewish father instilled a strong love for Israel in her. Despite the taunts, she always wore a Magen David around her neck.

At the age of 17 she made aliyah and served in an infantry combat unit in the IDF. She moved the audience with her account of the anti-Semitism she suffered, along with the development of her Jewish consciousness.

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