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If Israel’s African Refugees Are Anne Frank, Then Who Are the Nazis?

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Susan Silverman is my rabbi.

Not in any pastoral way (we anyway don’t practice the same sort of Judaism), but in a moral one. I met her years ago while visiting Kibbutz Keturah, where she then lived. When she learned my wife and I were driving north to Tel Aviv, she brought us an envelope of cash to deliver to a friend she had there, a refugee from Darfur. There was no address – he was between places – but she gave us a phone number and said that if we called he would meet us on the street near the old bus station.

I ran into Rabbi Silverman a few months later, in line for a bathroom on a flight from Tel Aviv to New York. She told me about an organization she was raising to help shuls and churches and other communities help their people to adopt kids who needed homes. A few years after that, my girl started taking the bus one morning a month to take part in Women of the Wall prayer vigils, and often returning with greetings from Silverman who was a leader of the demonstration. This pleased me, because Silverman was by now my Heschel.

Which is why I was bewildered to learn that she (and others) lately started an “Anne Frank Home Sanctuary movement” to shelter from deportation refugees from Eritrea and the Sudan. Like Rabbi Silverman, I oppose forced deportation. Like her, I think........

© Haaretz