Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky turned over the keys to the Jewish school of Gondar, Ethiopia, to the town’s mayor.
The final group of Ethiopian Jews are preparing to leave for Israel soon. As they leave, the dusty town of Gondar wonders what will happen once they are gone.
Ziv Koren, an award-winning Israeli photographer, is no stranger to controversy. But even he was unprepared for the flood of angry messages and comments that faced him when he checked his Facebook page a few days ago. The hubbub was prompted by a photograph he had taken in 2006 — a picture of a young Ethiopian woman, fully nude with her bare breasts exposed, as she was being immersed in the mikveh, or Jewish ritual bath, at a camp for Falash Mura waiting to immigrate to Israel.
For years, Israel promised Ethiopian Falash Mura Jews that they could immigrate. Now they must wait in barebones resettlement camps for another year at least.
Thousands of relatives of Ethiopian Jews have waited for years to move to Israel. Their airlift is nearing, but it won’t be easy for them to fit into a new life in a new land.
The contentious debate over the immigration to Israel of the Falash Mura — Ethiopians who claim descent from Jewish converts to Christianity — is pitting the two Ethiopian members of Israel’s parliament against each other.