150 Ethiopian Jews Make Aliyah to Israel

The Fellowship  |  July 8, 2022

Ethiopian Jews arrive on Fellowship Freedom Flight in Israel, 2022
(Photo: Yossi Zeliger)

There is perhaps no event as heartwarming as family reunions after decades apart. And many of those occurred recently thanks to The Fellowship’s faithful donors, as Ethiopian Jews at last made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) on a Fellowship Freedom Flight. Our friends at World Israel News report on the new Israelis and their joyous arrival:

The arrival of an Ethiopian Airways jetliner at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport earlier this week set the scene for an emotional reunion between family members, some of whom hadn’t seen their relatives in two decades.

The operation, spearheaded by Israel’s Minister of Immigrant Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata, is designed to help the remaining community of Jews living in refugee camps in Gondar and Addis Ababa make their way back to Israel.

So far, more than 5,000 people who have first-degree relatives already living in Israel have moved or are scheduled to move in the near future.

The flight consisted of 150 people and was made possible through a joint initiative of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ); Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration; and the Jewish Agency for Israel as part of “Operation Tzur Israel” (“Rock of Israel”).

Escorting the group back to Israel, Yael Eckstein, president of the IFCJ, said helping to bring the final remnants of Ethiopian Jewry home to Israel is a central part of their mandate.

“It’s a source of great pride to be able to assist hundreds more olim to come home,” she said. “The most powerful part of this flight is knowing that many of these passengers have been waiting for decades for this moment, and we see it as a central Zionist ideal to be able to make these types of reunions possible…”

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