Syrian-Jewish family smuggled to Israel

The ruins of the Central Synagogue of Aleppo, Syria, after the 1947 Aleppo pogrom. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( A Jewish family was recently smuggled from Syria to Israel, news outlets reported Thursday after an embargo on the story was lifted. 

The first two members of the family, which reportedly includes both Muslim and Jewish members, fled civil war-torn Syria several weeks ago. The rest of the family followed later. Their escape was orchestrated in part by Israeli-American businessman Moti Kahana, as well as the NGO Israel Flying Aid, which provides humanitarian aid to countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations. The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Absorption were also aware of the rescue efforts.

The unnamed family is now living in a government absorption center near Tel Aviv. Details of their escape went unpublished for weeks, as the story was placed under an embargo due to fear for the family’s safety.

Syria once had a flourishing Jewish community, but the country's Jewish population is now only about 20, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Posted on July 3, 2014 .