Paying Operation Exodus Forward

Growing up in the Soviet Union, “Jewish” was just a word Michael ben Aharon saw on packages of medicine or food smuggled in by Federation partner JDC. When the seven-year-old and his family escaped during Operation Exodus, they arrived in Israel with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Now, thanks to Federation partner The Jewish Agency for Israel, Michael is a fully integrated Israeli, and he’s channeling the entrepreneurial spirit of the start-up nation to form a company that helps the world’s poor become more involved in their governments. Federation “welcomed my family back to the Jewish people,” he says. “Now I’m able to…pay it forward.”