The Ethiopian Jews of Israel: Personal Stories of Life in the Promised Land

Ilan Ossendryver, Len Lyons

Publisher: Jewish Lights

In 1977 there were about one hundred Ethiopian Jews in Israel; now there are more than one hundred thousand. Their courageous exodus from their native land and their mass immigration to Israel is a unique historical event.

This beautiful and touching book is the first one to recount in captivating photographs and candid interviews the profound challenges and inspiring accomplishments of Ethiopian Jews struggling to become Ethiopian Israelis. Featuring more than fifty men and women-religious leaders, soldiers, lawyers, students, actors, musicians, a member of the Knesset, and more-this fascinating book reveals their personal stories. A historical narrative traces how some Ethiopians became Jewish and how they got to Israel. Then, in their own words, they reveal how they experience Israel as a part of its most impoverished and culturally distinct minority.

Their dream is to become accepted and integrated without losing their own character, identity and values. They declare their devotion to their spiritual homeland and to overcoming the illiteracy, unemployment, crime and alienation that have plagued their community. With dramatic and evocative full-color photographs, The Ethiopian Jews of Israel tells an unforgettable story of contemporary relevance, as the Jewish State continues to bring more Jews from Ethiopia.

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