NEWS

Israel to Help 2,000 Ethiopian Jews Come Home

September 10, 2020

by: Ilse Strauss

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The Falash Mura community in Ethiopia

Thursday, 10 September 2020 | The Israeli government yesterday greenlighted a plan to help 2,000 Ethiopian Jews come home to Israel by the end of 2020.

The champion of the plan, Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata hailed it as a “lifeline” for those yearning to return to their ancient homeland, particularly in light of the mounting coronavirus health crisis ravaging Ethiopia. Tamano-Shata is an Ethiopian Jew who, together with her father and brothers, was evacuated by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, from neighboring Sudan during the 1984 Operation Moses rescue mission.

According to Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, some 8,000 members of the Falash Mura community are currently living in large compounds in the Ethiopian cities Addis Ababa and Gondar as they wait to make aliyah (immigration to Israel).

These compounds have been particularly hard hit in the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, with poverty and malnutrition bringing the communities to the brink of a humanitarian disaster. In light of the looming crises, Tamano-Shata has been campaigning for the funds and the means to bring as many Falash Mura to the Jewish state as soon as possible.

Tamano-Shata last month proposed a NIS 1.3 billion (US $380 million) framework to the Knesset (Parliament) aliyah committee to cover the immigration and absorption costs for all 8,000 remaining Falash Mura members, with 4,500 arriving in Israel by year-end and the rest following by 2023. However, due to budgetary constraints, the 2,000 target was set for 2020, with Tamano-Shata vowing that the remaining 6,000 will soon follow.

Taking to social media, Tamano-Shata celebrated the soon to be new Israelis’ homecoming. “…We have succeeded! A final agreement has been reached…that will bring 2,000 people to Israel [by] the end of 2020. I intend to meet the target, then complete bringing all of the remaining people who are waiting…”

She continued, “It is said, ‘whoever saves one life saves an entire world.’ For many…who have been waiting for many years to immigrate to Israel and are now living in hunger, this is a lifeline.”

Echoing Tamano-Shata, Member of Knesset Michal Cotler-Wunsh echoed the ethos of aliyah. “Bringing these people to Israel is the vision of the State of Israel. Ethiopian Jews have prayed for thousands of years to come to Israel. If we do not bring them to Israel now, they will die there,” she said.

Editor’s note: Thousands of years ago, the Hebrew prophets prophesied about a time when God would bring back the Children of Israel from the four corners of the world to the land of their fathers. Today, we are seeing those prophecies fulfilled. God has called Bridges for Peace to partner with Him in this homecoming.

Many of the new immigrants—including the Falash Mura—arrive in Israel with meager possessions and no savings. They barely have enough to eat, let alone take the time to settle into a new country and culture while they learn the language and seek employment. That is where we come in. To help new immigrants prosper in their new home country, Bridges for Peace comes alongside them with generous welcome gifts of blankets, school kits for the children, a set of pots and pans, kitchen utensils and a copy of the Tanakh (Gen.–Mal.) in Hebrew alongside Russian or Spanish.

Will you help us bless a new immigrant family to let them know they are welcomed in Israel by Christians who believe God’s promise to bring His people back to His land?

Posted on September 10, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 10, 2020)

Photo Credit: monaxle/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org