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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jewish Israeli Olympian, Zohar Zemiro

                                                        Zohar Zemiro of Israel and New Friend, Vernon Katz

Nadene Goldfoot        picture above sent from Vernon Katz, Australian to my cousin Denise Bremridge. Vernon got to meet Zohar Zemiro in June last year.  Zohar  and Vernon flew from Addis Ababa where Zohar had been training for high altitude running to Tel Aviv.

Zohar Zemiro was born in Ethiopia in 1977.  His family made Aliyah to Israel so now he is an Israeli.  They could have come over in the airlift of 1984 called Operation Moses or of 1985 called Operation Sheba that brought many Ethiopians who settled in Safed, where I lived from 1980-1985.   There were more that came over after I returned to the states.  He made aliyah in 1990 at about the age of 13.  Today 81,000 Ethiopian-born Jews live in Israel.  Altogether,  we have 121,000 Israeli Ethiopians.  Now he's an Olympian marathon runner at age 35.

Zohar's best time is 2:14:28.  He represented Israel in the 2012 summer Olympics.  He was also in the 2010 Barcelona, Spain competition of the European Athletics championships and came in 38th.  January 2011 saw him running in Tiberius, Israel's Marathon with a time of 2:21:33 and came in 2nd of the Israelis and 18th of all the runners.  Then in the next month of February he ran a half marathon in Ein Gedi, Israel in 1:06:19.   April was another run where he went to Amsterdam in their Marathon and ran 2:14:28 and came in 10th.  That made him qualify to represent Israel in the summer Olympics.  It was a happy time for him to achieve this.  His time was 7 seconds short of Israel's national record time which was set by Ayale Setegne.

In the summer Olympics, which I am still watching on TV, " he finished 81st in the marathon and had to be wheelchaired off at the end due to exhaustion.  Zohar is 5'7" and weighs only 126 lbs.

Resource:  excellent history
Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot

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