Yosef lives in a faraway land. Ethiopia is a land filled with tall mountains and flowing rivers; a land where baboons, hippos and zebras roam free. But in this land of abundant beauty, there are few Jewish families and Yosef believes that none live beyond the edges of his village.
As Yosef tells his story, we experience the enchanting culture of his village. We can almost taste the spicy meat stew they eat as we sit with them in their huts. We listen in as they share stories of their ancestors while watching the stars through the open doorways of their hut.
Then one day Yosef falls into a deep hole. While there, he has a wild dream. Gazelle, Hyena and Eagle are there to help him escape the hole and Yosef must decide with which to go.
Later, a stranger visits Yosef’s school and tells of a wonderful journey they can all take, a journey to a far off land called Israel, a land filled with Jewish people. And the best part is — they will fly there, just like the eagle in Yosef’s dream!
Yosef’s Dream is based on the 1991 exodus of nearly 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel over a 36-hour period of time. It is a story of hope and bravery and is an excellent book to share with the slightly older picture book audience. Sylvia Rouss, with help from Ambassador Asher Naim, weaves a captivating tale, beautifully illustrated by Tamar Blumenfeld. An author’s note gives historical background about the mission, called Operation Solomon.
Written primarily for ages 6 – 10, this is a must-have book for every family!
Marcia Berneger is a retired teacher who lives with her husband and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and second grade, as well as special education. She currently teaches Torah school, in addition to her volunteer work in classrooms, libraries, and with various fundraisers. She lives in San Diego.