Nigerian Shluchim Arrange Israeli Rescue Mission

Immense efforts by Rabbi Mendy Sternbach led to the successful rescue of 4 Israelis from Nigeria, and the first-ever El Al flight to land in Lagos, Nigeria.

By reporter

A one-of-its-kind rescue mission, which also marked the first-ever El AL flight to land in Nigeria was arranged with the help of Shluchim Rabbi Mendy and Mazal Sternbach.

The Sternbachs just recently moved to Nigeria, to serve the 450 Jewish residents in the coastal city of Lagos, Africa’s most populous city of 17.5 million and one of its financial hubs.

On day this past week, the shluchim learned that a family of 3 Israelis who had traveled to Nigeria had fallen ill with COVID-19. Immediately, the shluchim sprung into action, taking care of all the family’s needs, including taking care of all the bureaucratic paperwork required by the Nigerian government.

The shluchim also managed to arrange a rescue mission with the Nigerian and Israeli authorities, involving a ElAl flight and crew making the trip to Nigeria just to pick up the three Israelis. For almost a week, the shluchim didn’t sleep, running from one place to the next to make sure that all the documents were in order with the Nigerian and Israeli Aviation Authority and the embassy.

Finally, their efforts paid off this Sunday when the rescue flight landed in Nigeria, picking up the Israelis and racing back to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv before the new lockdown went into effect.

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  1. I was so honored to be part of the Chabad of Nigeria when I worked in Nigeria. Rabbi Mendy & Rabbi Uzan, you operate in a tough environment & you did this for your community which does not surprise me. May Hashem bless you & Refuah Shlema to those who have Covid. I am proud to be a Jew. Thank you El Al & Nigeria for allowing this big moment to happen.

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