Ingathering of Exiles: From Ethiopia to Israel

You might have heard of the Beta Israel, the community of Israel’s Ethiopian community. In this episode, Noam Weissman tells their story – not only their rich Jewish heritage and history, but also the story of how they got to Israel in Operation Solomon, and their integration into Israeli society over the last thirty years. It’s thrilling, inspiring, but also complicated, and difficult at times. In other words, it’s a microcosm of the entire State of Israel, and the Jewish community the world over.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. Ethiopian Jews traditionally refer to themselves as:
    • Falashas
    • Beta Israel
    • Falash Mura
    • Olei Ethiopia
  2. Approximately, how many Ethiopian Jews live in Israel today?
    • 1.4 million
    • 400,000
    • 14,000
    • 130,000
  3. What was the name of the first operation to rescue Ethiopian Jews and bring them to Israel in 1984?
    • Solomon
    • Eagle
    • Daniel
    • Moses
  4. Which Jewish holidays did the Ethiopian community not celebrate?
    • Hanukkah and Purim
    • Sigd
    • Passover and Sukkot
    • Shavuot and Rosh Hashana
  5. How long has the Beta Israel community existed in Ethiopia?
    • Over 100 years
    • At least 2000 years
    • 500 years
    • Since the Holocaust
  1. When you close your eyes and imagine what a Jew looks like, what comes to mind? Why do you think this is where your mind goes? After listening to this episode, how would you answer the question “what do Jews look like”?
  2. Even though the Ethiopians spoke Amharic and not Hebrew, had never heard of the Holocaust, and rabbinic holidays like Hanukkah and Purim were not part of their tradition, Israelis have always felt like Ethiopians are part of the Jewish people and that saving them was critical for the Israeli government. What do you think is the common link that unites all Jewish people?
  3. How do you view your Jewish identity? Is being Jewish your religion, nationality, culture, ethnicity, family or something else?
  4. What are three things you learned about Ethiopian Jewry and three questions you still have?
  5. Why is the concept of “Kibbutz Galuyot” or the ingathering of the exiles so integral to Israel’s existence?
  1. Lead a podcast listening party about the Ingathering of Exiles. Download our PDF Guide.
  2. Watch our own film Mekonen and utilize the accompanying educational resources.
  3. Give your students our Kahoot on the Ingathering of Exiles: From Ethiopia to Israel.

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