Despite the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Zebulon Simentov, the country’s last remaining Jew, said he intended to stay. But he finally left the country and is reportedly heading to the U.S.
According to a report in the Israeli media, Simantov crossed the border of Afghanistan to a neighboring country with the help of an ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn fixer and an Israeli-American businessman.
Initially, the 62-year-old man refused to leave either for Israel or the U.S. but finally he agreed to leave for the U.S. where he has family.
While the Taliban’s spokesperson did say Simantov would be safe in the country during an interview last month, the main fears for Afghanistan’s last Jew arose following an Islamic State suicide bombing amid the US withdrawal.
Simantov was the caretaker of the last synagogue in Kabul. He said that the Taliban considers him an “infidel” and tried unsuccessfully in the past to convert him to Islam.
Afghanistan was home to 5,000 Jews until the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, when many began immigrating there.