Jognau, the Dreamer

“Jognau, the Dreamer” is an original story by award-winning author Sylvia Rouss and Raoul Wallenberg Prize recipient Ambassador Asher Naim, illustrated by Dawn Phillips. The animated version is narrated by Geoffrey Bennett and produced by Jordan Rouss. If you are interested in the rescue of the Ethiopian Jews to Israel, you can view the animated version, and download the book and coloring book. All are free!

I was excited to hear about this project from Sylvia. She was able to share a bit of background with me:

I met Ambassador Asher Naim when my husband and I attended an alumni event for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After his lecture, we went for coffee and we struck up a friendship that continues to this day. We have visited the Ambassador and his wife in Jerusalem, and they have visited us in Los Angeles.

In one of our earliest conversations, the Ambassador told me how well he was received when he lectured at churches. Christians generally, but particularly African-American Christians, were “overwhelmed” by the story of the modern day Exodus of Ethiopian Jews. We wondered out loud if we could create a children’s book. After reading his book, Saving the Lost Tribe: The Rescue and Redemption of the Ethiopian Jews, I knew that this was a story that should and could be presented to children. Jognau, the Dreamer was written shortly thereafter.

I “met” Dawn Phillips on FaceBook last year, and the Scholarship Fund for Ethiopian Jews contributed the money to pay for her art work. Ambassador Naim and I donated the story, and my son Jordan, an attorney, and his good friend Geoffrey Bennett, an NPR producer, volunteered to produce and narrate the animated version.

We hope the story of Jognau will bring this remarkable story of the rescue of Ethiopian Jews to a new generation of readers.

Find the story here:

Sylvia, thank you for making this story available to your readers!


1 thought on “Jognau, the Dreamer

  1. Barbara, This is so interesting. I am fascinated by the story, and the idea that the book is being “published” on her website. Thanks for sharing your insights. Kathy B,

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