|“for the first time in history,
thousands of black people are being
brought into a country not in chains but as citizens”
– William Safire on the first airlift to Ethiopians to Israel
– Felashas – Beta Israel
– 85,000 living in Israel
– Most immigrated in the last 20 years
– Felasha: one in transition/in exile
– Mostly from the Gondar region
in Ethiopia, some in Tigrai
Ethiopian Jews – Felashas/Beta Israel Baruch Dego –
Ethiopian Israeli Soccer Sensation Addisu Messela –
Ethiopian-born Labor Knesset member Ethiopian Jews
‘Falasha or Beta Israel’, although a very small segment
of the Ethiopian population their
airlifting/immigration to Israel
starting in 1984 got world press attention and in the West.
Today there are around
80,000 Ethiopian Jews
living in Israel,
Falasha’s mostly come from
Gondar state in the north west of Ethiopia,
“According to one tradition,
the Ethiopian Jews are the
descendants of one of the ten tribes, as their religion is an
ancient form of biblical Judaism.
Their religious practices are prescribed by the Orit,
the Torah translated into their Gez dialect.”
(PBS – Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? ).
Ethiopian Jews share the same cuisine
found at most Ethiopian Restaurant.
There are a few good sites that detail
their airlifting to Isreal and
their life in Israel now.
Israel to take all Ethiopian Jews – by BBC
The Israeli Government are to speed up the moving
of the remaining 18,000 Ethiopian Jews to the Middle East.
The Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews (IAEJ)
was formed in 1993 in response to the
growing crisis facing Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant
community with regards to education,
housing and employment.
Beta Israel-Ethiopia PBS – Where are the Ten Lost Tribes?
In the latter part of the twelfth century, a legend appeared which persisted for several centuries and reached Egypt, Palestine and Europe. According to this legend, a Christian priest named Prester John ruled as monarch over a vast and wealthy Christian Empire. According to many traditions, Ethiopia was the land of the powerful Prester John’s kingdom, as well as the home of the ten lost tribes. Persistent rumor had it that these African Israelite kingdoms were at constant war with Prester John, and that their armies were advancing on Rome.
Who are these African-Jewish tribesmen so central to the Prester John legend? These are the Ethiopian Jews known both as Falashas, the Amharic word for landless, wandering Jews, and as Beta Israel, the house of Israel. In Ethiopia, they engaged primarily in agriculture, but were known also for their exquisite crafts and jewelry. Today, most of the Beta Israel live in the state of Israel. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the Israeli government airlifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, rescuing them from political and economic distress.
According to one tradition, the Ethiopian Jews are the descendants of one of the ten tribes, as their religion is an ancient form of biblical Judaism. Their religious practices are prescribed by the Orit, the Torah translated into their Gez dialect. They possess none of the post-biblical laws. Over the centuries, the Beta Israel have been connected with the tribe of Dan. This association has eased the process of their return to the state of Israel in recent times. via ethiopianrestaurant.com