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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

Last Falash Mura to Come to Israel

Monday, November 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Netanyahu cabinet on Sunday approved unanimously to fly to Israel the remaining Falash Mura who are still in transit camps in Ethiopia. Then those camps will be shut down and there will be no more organized aliyah from Ethiopia to Israel.

Falash Mura is the name given to Ethiopian and Eritrean Jews who converted to Christianity under pressure from the missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. The term refers both to Jews who did not adhere to Jewish law, and Jews who converted to Christianity, either voluntarily or by force.

Beta Israel (Hebrew: House of Israel or Community of Israel) are Jews who lived in North and North-Western Ethiopia, in more than 500 small villages. They renewed contacts with other Jewish communities in the later 20th century, and following halachic and constitutional considerations, Israel decided in 1977 that the Israeli Law of Return applied to them. The Israeli and American governments launched operations to transport the Ethiopian Jews to Israel from 1979 to the 1990s.

Today, Ethiopian Jewry is still not fully integrated into Israeli society. They remain on a lower economic and educational level than average Israelis, and marriages between Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian Jews are not common. According to a 2009 study, 90% of Ethiopian-Israelis are married to other Ethiopian-Israelis. As many as 57% of Israelis consider a daughter marrying an Ethiopian unacceptable and 39% consider a son marrying an Ethiopian unacceptable. A 2011 study showed that only 13% of high school students of Ethiopian origin felt “fully Israeli.” (Wikipedia)

In May 2015, Israeli Ethiopians demonstrated in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against racism, after a video was released, showing an Israeli Ethiopian soldier being brutally beaten up by two Israeli police.

However, according to Ha’aretz, 90 percent of the younger generation of Ethiopians in Israel have high-school education, almost the same percentage as the Jewish population in general (93 percent). The rate of matriculation is “only” 53 percent, but that is almost four times the figure for the first generation (16 percent). And 20 percent of second-generation Ethiopian Israelis have higher education (a number becoming doctors), almost four times the rate of the first generation (5.7 percent). Employment among Ethiopians has jumped from 50 to 72 percent in 12 years, with women rising from 35% to 65%. And the percentage of Ethiopian Israelis working in janitorial services has fallen to only 5 percent.

Seven Ethiopian-Israeli have gone on to become Knesset MKs, and Ethiopian Jews have risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: “Today we have taken an important decision, to bring to Israel within the next five years the last of the communities with links to Israel waiting in Addis Ababa and Gonder.” The PM noted that this is an important move for Ethiopian families in Israel who have been split up.

The newcomers would have to undergo a conversion, as well as be taught Jewish values and the history of the Zionist movement.

Chairman of the Committee for Immigration Absorption and Diaspora, MK Avraham Negusa (an Ethiopian-Israeli), who has been in the forefront of the fight to bring remaining Jews of Ethiopia for the past 25 years, congratulated Netanyahu and Interior Minister Silvan Shalom on today’s decision.

“This is a great day for the Jewish people,” Negusa said. “For thousands of years Ethiopian Jewry prayed to return to Israel and waited for nearly a decade torn from their families. Today their prayers were answered.”

JNi.Media

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

The website it obtained an invitation that Bush’s staff sent to Jewish leaders to form a “National Jewish Leadership Team,” with individuals to attend a special briefing with Bush at his campaign headquarters in Miami Sept, 25, two days after Yom Kippur.

With at least 16 other contenders for the nomination, Bush is retrying to get a head start on bundling up Jewish support, some of which already is committed to Mike Huckabee.

The proposed Leadership Team, is scheduled to meet for a dinner at the Miami Beach home of two of is Jewish supporters on the day before, which is one day after the Yom Kippur holiday and fast.

The hosts are Glenda and Ronnie Krongold, who is leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Originally from West Virginia, he dealt in real estate in Florida and built a real estate company. One his partners in a project was “Jeb Bush and Associates,” according to the RJC website, which also noted that Krongold has been very active in Israeli Bonds.

The website states:

In 1985, at the request of a Jewish activist and publisher Phil Blazer, Ron called upon Jeb to intercede with his father, the Vice President, on behalf of approximately 1,000 Ethiopian Jews who were starving and dying in camps in Ethiopia. Thereafter through the efforts of the Vice President and a group of concerned Jews, the majority of the Ethiopians were rescued and flown to Israel by the United States government.

In 1990 Ron traveled to Russia, before the fall of Communism, along with then CEO of Bonds Meir Rosanne , Michael Siegal (who is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America) and six other Israel Bonds leaders to help with the extraction and settlement of Jews from Russia to Israel.

 

 

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Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Rivlin: All Relevant Authorities Working to Retrieve Missing Israeli

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin confirmed Thursday that “all relevant authorities are working on the case” of 28-year-old Ethiopian immigrant to Israel, Avraham Mengisto.

The young man voluntarily crossed the border into Gaza 10 months ago and has not been seen since, according to his mother, who says she is holding Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group responsible for his well-being.

Rivlin told journalists at a news conference the release of Mengisto, who is believed to be possibly mentally ill, is a “humanitarian issue.”

The president said in a statement, “We expect those holding him to act accordingly and release him while his condition is stable.” He added that Israel’s security and other government personnel would “continue to make every effort to bring the incident to a close as soon as possible.”

Mengisto walked south along the shoreline from his home in Ashkelon on September 8, 2014, and then simply kept going, crossing the border into Gaza along the way.

Hamas reportedly is claiming the Israeli was taken into custody for questioning but released when it was discovered that he was not a soldier. As it happens, Mengisto has never served in the IDF due to his health problems.

The terror group claims that he entered one of the smuggling tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah and exited the enclave to head into Egypt in order to proceed towards Ethiopia.

Israeli authorities say the terrorist officials are lying, either in order to preserve him as an “asset” for future negotiations with Israel over a possible prisoner swap, or because something happened to him along the way and the person responsible for him is hiding that information – even from Hamas officials.

Hana Levi Julian

Shuvu International Friends Raising $1.6 Million in 24 Hours [video]

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

In celebration of Shuvu’s 25th anniversary, three generous donors have pledged to match every dollar donated today, quadrupling every single donation made online

Every donation counts in touching the lives of more and more Israelis, instilling within thousands of families a high level of secular and religious education.

Shuvu has been giving the gold standard of Jewish education in Israel for 25 years. With a network of 67 schools, kindergartens, after-school programs and parent outreach programs, Shuvu provides a dynamic educational and welfare network that reaches thousands of Jewish families each year through high-level academic and Torah study.

Initially founded to provide a much-needed education to children who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, Shuvu’s student population now includes many native Israeli children, new French immigrants and other students from diverse backgrounds.

The success of Shuvu’s programs is immense, with more than 22,000 alumni who have gone on to learn at Israel’s top yeshivas, serve in elite army units and land jobs at many distinguished companies. Shuvu has been lauded for its superior educational offerings, its remarkable Chessed programs, and its impact on Israeli society.

This year alone, Shuvu expanded its outreach and opened 29 new first grade classes in existing schools. Over 1,000 new students joined the Shuvu community.

As Shuvu’s founder Rabbi Avrohom Pam zt’l would always say, “It is beyadeinu – in our own hands!” The future of Jewish education calls upon you to help support Shuvu’s tremendous work. And for one day only, each dollar will quadruple! Today’s the day to begin building the future.

DONATE TODAY and help Shuvu pave the way for a brighter future!

Daniela Berkowitz

Something UNBELIEVABLE is happening on Monday!

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

In honor of its 25th anniversary, the Shuvu Network of Schools in Israel has announced its largest fundraising campaign ever, to take place IY”H on Monday, June 22 – over a 24-hour period in 4 countries simultaneously!

The Shuvu Network was founded by Rabbi Avraham Pam zt”l in 1990, when the wave of Aliya from the former Soviet Union was at its peak. Rabbi Pam, together with other Jewish leaders, was concerned of the physical and spiritual welfare of these Russian Olim – and their children. They were in need of schools familiar with Russian culture and its high standards of education, and able to provide a basic Jewish education as well. After Russia’s 70 years of communism, many Russian Olim arrived in Israel with absolutely no knowledge of what it means to be a Jew. They had no sense of Jewish identity or Jewish pride. Shuvu aimed to fill this void.

From a mere 2 caravans, Shuvu has since developed into a major educational empire in Israel today, including 67 schools, kindergarten and outreach programs spread out across the country – from Akko up north to Be’er Sheva down south. Shuvu’s thousands of students receive a very high level of general education coupled with Limudei Kodesh, with an emphasis on Middos and Derech Eretz, and many exciting and educational activities throughout the year.

Seeing the unique Chinuch in Shuvu, many native Israelis over the years begged to have their children join the network as well. Today Shuvu can certainly be viewed as a “Kibbutz Galuyot” with children from Russia, America, Ethiopia, Israel – and recently many from Ukraine and France as well. Shuvu also operates many programs for the parents of the students, in order to connect them as well to the beauty of Judaism.

Shuvu is always doing more. This year alone, Shuvu has opened 29 new first grade classes, welcomed over 1,000 new students, and added programs in three of its campuses. With more support, Shuvu can continue inspiring the lives of more Jewish families. Sign up for our newsletter and stay tuned for Monday’s unbelievable news.

Daniela Berkowitz

PM Netanyahu Meets IDF Soldier Damas Pikada

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

PM Netanyahu met with IDF soldier Damas Pikada who was brutally beaten up by an Israeli policeman, setting off protests by the Ethiopian community in Israel.

Pikada told Netanyahu his life story, which was a very tough one. Pikada is an orphan, his father died in Ethiopia and his mother died of cancer. He lives with his brothers, one of whom serves in the Air Force.

Pikada proudly serves in the IDF, and he praises the current protests, but condemns the violence by both the police and citizens.

Video of the Day

President Rivlin says Ethiopian Protest Opened ‘Raw Wound’

Monday, May 4th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin said Monday morning that the Ethiopian protests against police brutality and racism “revealed an open and raw wound at the heart of Israeli society.”

Speaking at a meeting in his office with mayors and heads of the ultra-Orthodox municipalities and local council, the President added, “We must look directly at this open wound.  We have erred.  We did not look, and we did not listen enough.  Among the protesters on the streets, were some of our finest sons and daughters; outstanding students; those who served in the IDF.  We owe them answers.

“At the same time, it must be said in the clearest of terms. Protests are an essential tool in democracy, but violence is neither the way nor the solution.  The demonstrators and the police notably maintained restraint throughout the protests, and we must not allow a handful of violent trouble makers to drown-out the legitimate voices of protest.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

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