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Ethiopian Jewry and the State of Israel

The story of the Jews of Ethiopia, Beta Yisrael, is one that stretches back into the mists of time. Already in the 1500s Jewish authorities recognised that this community of villages in the Ethiopian highlands were Jews who had kept faith in their belief that one day they would return to Jerusalem. During the 1990s, thousands walked from Ethiopia to Sudan, many dying on the way, before being airlifted to the Promised Land.



This return, the heroism of both rescued and rescuers, and the contemporary challenges that these Jews now face all form part of the story of the Jewish State’s commitment to bringing back the exiles, no matter their colour. Many of these olim have enjoyed spectacular success, but on the other hand, integration and prejudice remain challenges to be overcome.


Session 01: Introduction and overview of history.


Session 02: The Red Sea Spies: Interviews with Raffi Berg, author of the book, and Dani Limor, Mossad agent.

Session 03: Success stories: Meet Batya and Hed Shmueli – Batya is an Ethiopian immigrant and now liaison for the Jewish Agency in Cape Town.

Session 04: Reality now. Success, challenges, racism and the future. Discussions with Dr Neguise, Israeli politician and activist for the Ethiopian community


Join The Academy's Rav Ramon Widmonte and guests in charting the heroic past and complex present of Ethiopian Jewry. We’ll meet heroes and storytellers, spies and prime ministers, activists and educators – all to tell one of the most inspiring, complex stories of modern Israel.

Courage and Renewal

  • Rav Ramon Widmonte and guests

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