JERUSALEM—As part of ‘’Operation Yehudith’’, a group of 80 Ethiopian new immigrants arrived in Israel on Monday evening. The flights were organized by the Jewish Agency and funded by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).
This is the first group of immigrants to come from Ethiopia following the Israeli government’s decision in October to bring 1,000 members of the Falash Mura community who already have first degree relatives living in Israel.
The Falasha are members of the Jewish Beta Israel community in Ethiopia who converted to Christianity under pressure during the 19th and 20th centuries but maintained ties to the Jewish community.
The Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog was at the airport to greet the new immigrants. At the end of on-site absorption process which included their receiving of their new Israeli ID cards, the olim (immigrats) had a joyful reunion with their close family members who were on hand to reunite with them as they begin their new lives in Israel together.
“The Operation Yehudith campaign to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel is a very moving moment, and all of Israel welcomes you,” said Herzog.
“The Christian Embassy is excited to be a partner with Israel in this latest wave of Ethiopian aliyah,” said ICEJ president Jürgen Bühler. “We know this is going to make a lot of Ethiopian Jewish families very happy to be reunited after such a long and difficult time of separation.”
Since the early 1950s, The Jewish Agency has assisted more than 90,000 Ethiopians with their immigration to Israel. The two most famous airlifts from Ethiopia to Israel were Operation Moses in 1984-1985, aiding the arrival of 6,364 Olim, and Operation Solomon in 1991, bringing 14,000 immigrants.
Since its founding in 1980, the ICEJ has assisted more than 142,000 Jews in making their way home to Israel from all over the world.
TPS contributed to this report.