Eli Shmuel: Coming to America

Eli FINALLY got his hands on a set of the Karaite Fact Cards

Eli FINALLY got his hands on a set of  Karaite Fact Cards

I can’t think of a better return to blogging than with the most exciting Karaite project in a while.  (At least, this is the most exciting project I am allowed to disclose . . . )

Eli Shmuel, a shaliach (of sorts) from the Karaite community of Israel, will be traveling the United States for several months, and he has some very ambitious goals while he is here.  I caught up with Eli last night upon his arrival to San Francisco.

Eli actually comes from a very interesting Karaite family. His father Magdi Shmuel is a Hakham in the Karaite Community of Israel and is very active in issues regarding the new moon. And as described in Hadassah Magazine, in 1954, when Egypt discovered an Israeli spy ring, Yacoub Shamuel (Eli’s great uncle) and his wife personally met with Egyptian President (dictator?) Gamal Abdel Nasser, to request (ultimately unsuccessfully) that Nasser spare the life of Moshe Marzouk. Marzouk was a Karaite Jew convicted of spying for Israel, and was hanged on January 31, 1955.[1]

Eli says that his main objectives in the United States are to help engage those who are not yet fully in the Karaite fold. He recognizes that difficult challenges await him in this regard, but he is ready to overcome them. Eli also wants to continue to produce educational videos on Karaite Judaism (similar to his video on Shechita/Ritual Slaughter). In fact, Eli is planning to do a presentation for the Karaite Jews of America on the state of the Karaite community in Israel. The KJA plans to record the talk and put it up on YouTube.

Eli has never been to the United States before, but he has heard many wonderful things about the Jewish community (Karaite, Rabbanite, and secular) here. And as to the American Karaite Jewish community, Eli says that he is incredibly grateful for the warmth that its members have shown him. Eli’s brother currently lives in the United States, has visited the Karaite synagogue in Daly City and has told Eli that the community is filled with many warm people who will receive Eli with great pleasure.

Eli sends a special thank you to all who have opened their hearts and homes to him thus far. If you would like to arrange for Eli to visit your Jewish community, please drop me a note at shawn@abluethread.com, and I’ll pass the request on to the appropriate people.

*   *   *

1. Rabbi Boruch K. Helman, The Karaite Jews of Cairo, Hadassah Magazine, March 1979.



Filed under Eli Shmuel, Karaite Jews of America, Moshe Marzouk, Nasser

5 Responses to Eli Shmuel: Coming to America

  1. Paul Nounou

    Dear Eli
    Welcome to the USA
    We are all very happy to have you start your new journey in San Francisco .
    As my father Elie helps many people settle in this beautiful city I am here to offer my hospitality.

  2. I hope I get to meet up with Eli somehow while he’s here!

  3. Pingback: When I'm not Blogging: Karaite Projects Coming Down the Pike | A Blue Thread

  4. Pingback: What Karaite Jews *Must* Learn from Orthodox Jews - A Blue Thread

  5. Pingback: BREAKING NEWS: My father was not a wandering Aramaean (and neither was yours) - A Blue Thread

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *