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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 15:56

Here And There: Whither The Falash Mura’s ‘Hatikva’?

...a group of Israeli youngsters of Ethiopian origin, aged 15 to 16, on a “Masa – Journey to Identity” visit.

anuary 5 will mark 34 years since the Israeli covert mission Operation Moses brought some 10,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Today, Israel is home to 135,000 citizens of Ethiopian descent. It was the late Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef, who recognized Beta Israel (the community of Ethiopian and Eritrean Jews) as Jews, including the Falash Mura. Falash Mura is the name given to those who were forced to convert to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. How sad and disappointing that today some 8,000 Falash Mura are languishing, in appalling conditions, in the Gondor Province and in Addis Ababa. Many have close family members already in Israel whom they are anxious to join. Back in November 2015, the Israeli government approved the entry into Israel of these 8,000. To date, a mere 69 arrived here in November 2017.

The Magazine spoke with Nina Zuck, project chair of nonprofit ESRA, who returned from Ethiopia two weeks ago. She accompanied a group of Israeli youngsters of Ethiopian origin, aged 15 to 16, on a “Masa – Journey to Identity” visit.

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