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Long Wait For Ethiopian Jews

by | Tue, Oct 4 2022

For Ethiopian Jews, immigrating to Israel can take years or sometimes decades.

CBN News found hundreds of them in the only synagogue in the northern city of Gondar.

They all want to go to Israel, but some have been waiting for 20-years or longer.

The Jewish Agency which arranges the immigrations opened a processing centre in Gondar 30 years ago.

It has sent 85,000 Ethiopian Jews to a new home in Israel and is now organising for another 3,000 to join them.

About 70% of all Ethiopian Jews are sent from Gondar, but most come from rural villages.

Without a place to live or a profession, they have been forced to work as day laborers without a steady income and live in tiny apartments.

According to the Israeli Law of Return, anyone with one Jewish grandparent, who has not converted to another religion is allowed to become an Israeli citizen.

But many Ethiopians have had trouble proving their lineage in order to qualify.

A Law of Entry allows some to leave to be reunited with family members in Israel, but it’s a slow process.

The origins of Ethiopian Jewry are unclear.

Many believe that they are part of the biblical tribe of Dan who migrated south during the time of the destruction of the First Temple.

Some also trace their lineage to the Queen of Sheba.

it’s unclear how many Jews remain in Ethiopia, but The Jewish Agency and its Christian supporters are continuing to help fulfill God’s word to bring his people back home.