February 25, 2020

Ethiopian Immigrants Land in Israel After First Aliyah Flight Since 2018

Ethiopian immigrants being greeted at Ben Gurion Airport Feb. 4 after finally making Aliyah. Photo courtesy of The Jewish Agency for Israel

More than 80 Ethiopian immigrants landed at Ben Gurion Airport Feb. 4 after waiting to make aliyah, according to a representative of The Jewish Agency.

This is the first group of immigrants to come from Ethiopia following the Israeli government’s decision in October 2018 to bring 1,000 members of the Falash Mura community over who already have relatives living in Israel.  

A reception was then held at Ben Gurion Airport by Isaac Herzog, chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel.

“The Operation Yehudith campaign to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel is a very moving moment, and all of Israel welcomes you. I call upon the Israeli government to do everything in its power to bring the rest of the Ethiopian Jews waiting to come to Israel and who are praying to Jerusalem everyday,” Herzog said in a statement. “The Jewish Agency will absorb, assist and accompany you for the next two years in everything that is needed in order to be able to successfully integrate into Israeli society, to build your home, your future, and the future of your family here in Israel.”

In November 2015, the Israeli government passed a decision to allow family reunification for the remaining 9,000 Falash Mura community members waiting to make Aliyah to Israel. By the end of 2017, about 1,300 had been approved and immigrated, and approximately 8,000 remained in Ethiopia. In October 2018, the government decided to bring another 1,000 members of the community who already had close relatives living in Israel.

Since the early 1950s, The Jewish Agency has helped more than 90,000 Ethiopians immigrate to Israel.