Most of themhave left their homes and villages to wait in the major cities of Gondar and Addis Ababa. Despite their ongoing limbo and harsh conditions, the communities in these cities maintain a strong Jewish identity and carry out daily Jewish rituals.
The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) applaud the Israeli government’s decision to approve the aliyah (immigration) of 2,000 members of the Ethiopian community who are expected to arrive in Israel by early 2021.
These olim (immigrants) are among the thousands in Ethiopia waiting, some for over a decade, to be reunited with their family in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, on Friday that he intends to bring to Israel some 2,000 Ethiopian Jews.
In a phone conversation during which the two leaders discussed regional issues, Ahmed readily agreed to the move and stressed the special bond between the people of Ethiopia and Israel, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The Jewish Agency said it was immediately commencing implementation of the groundwork needed to facilitate the aliyah of these 2,000 new immigrants, including preparing them for their new lives in Israel.
Most have left their homes and villages to wait in the major cities of Gondar and Addis Ababa. Despite their ongoing limbo and harsh conditions, the communities in these cities maintain a strong Jewish identity and carry out daily Jewish rituals.
Aliyah from Ethiopia is a key mission of both JFNA and The Jewish Agency and is central to their collaborative work. Over the past 40 years, the two organizations have worked together to bring more than 92,000 Ethiopian olim to Israel.
“Helping Ethiopians and Jews worldwide come home to Israel is one of clearest demonstrations of our love and commitment to the State of Israel, which is central to our core mission,” said Mark Wilf, Chair of JFNA’s Board of Trustees. “And it’s all made possible because of our historic partnership with The Jewish Agency.”
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting limitation on mobility, The Jewish Agency has brought over 300 Olim from Ethiopia to Israel.
“This government decision will enable the dreams of families that have been separated for over a decade to come true – to finally be reunited, in Israel,” said Isaac Herzog, Chairman of The Jewish Agency. “It is our moral duty to answer the prayers and pleas of those waiting in Ethiopia to come to Israel.”