October 14, 2019

From Indonesia to Israel by Way of L.A.

Last October, when Muslim extremists threatened to burn down the only synagogue still standing in the Republic of Indonesia, Saul Abraham, 69, the synagogue’s caretaker, and his younger brother, Alfred, 66, fled the country.

“We left the same night,” Saul said, in the LAX lounge with his Los Angeles-based relatives, waiting for the flight that will carry the brothers off to what they believe is their only real haven: Israel. 

Fearing for their lives, the brothers, both retired technicians, booked the first flight to the West Coast via Singapore without any time to pack or say goodbye to friends in their native Surabaya. They were welcomed in Los Angeles by their eldest brother, Jacob (real name withheld upon request), an L.A. resident since 1976, and sister Lily, 67, an L.A. resident since 1990. Lily decided to move to Israel, too.

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