Naftali was born in Ethiopia in 1979, the youngest of 12 siblings. His brother Ferede Aklum z”l was determined to reach Jerusalem, and set out from Ethiopia in 1978 on a long, dangerous trek through the desert, ultimately reaching Sudan. From there he wrote a letter asking for help to make aliyah. The letter found its way to Menachem Begin, who then set in motion the remarkable, secret operation that came to be known as Operation Moses, an operation in which North American Jewry were to play a crucial role. One of the over 8,000-12,000 Ethiopian Jews to literally follow in his brother’s footsteps, Naftali reached Israel with his family in 1980, at age one, thus fulfilling a dream that had been kept alive for 2,500 years. The family settled in Be’er Sheva, where Naftali was raised and educated. After completing his army service as a firefighter, he went on to study politics, government, history, and Middle Eastern studies at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, graduating in 2008. Naftali took part in several delegations, including a visit to the United States with the Anti-Defamation League in 1996, and in 2002 spent a year with the Israel at Heart organization sharing the story of Israel and Ethiopian Jewry. He is a committed volunteer, helping children at risk in Be’er Sheva through the city’s Council for the Well Being of the Child, and is a mentor to other Ethiopian-Israeli academics, helping them in their job placement efforts.
I was an image consultant for a movie on Netflix "The Red Sea Diving Resort".