The Brooklyn Hasid and the Israeli Businessman Rescuing Afghan Refugees

October 1, 2021 | Jenni Frazer
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With the help of an Israeli businessman named Moti Kahana, an Afghan interpreter who had worked for the British air force since 2003 has been safely saved from the Taliban’s clutches. And the interpreter is not the only one. Jenni Frazer describes the American who funded the rescue:

The mission was paid for by Tzedek, a charity based in Brooklyn founded by Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, a member of the Skvirer ḥasidic sect.

Among those already evacuated with the help of Kahana’s organization, Global Development Corporation, and Rabbi Margaretten’s Tzedek funding are the Afghan women’s soccer team—now understood to be in Australia—and four children, hiding in a Kabul apartment, whose father was murdered by the Taliban and whose mother was desperate to bring them to America.

Moshe Margaretten, age forty, is an unlikely hero for the Afghan refugees he has helped rescue. The grandson of Holocaust survivors, the Brooklyn-based rabbi has wide contacts within the ḥasidic community and through his Tzedek operation has raised thousands of dollars to pay for the rescue missions. As well as providing funding, the rabbi has spent time in helping organize the paperwork to process the departure of many of those who have left Afghanistan.

He first began the work in order to bring out the last Jew in Afghanistan, Zebulon Simentov, but has now committed to rescue whomever he can.

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