The Ethiopian Jewish Community

Did you know …

  • The first modern contact with the Beta Israel came in 1769 with Scottish explorer James Bruce, who estimated there were 100,000
  • In 1956, Israel and Ethiopia established consular connections
  • In 1961, Israel and Ethiopia developed full diplomatic ties
  • Around 2,500 Jews were killed and 7,000 became homeless during the Mengistu coup in 1973
  • In 1977, Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin sold weapons to the Ethiopian Dictatorship Mariam government hoping they would let Jews leave
  • The first 200 Jews were taken out of Ethiopia in 1977
  • In the 1980s, Ethiopia forbade Jewish practice
  • Operation Moses brought about 8000 Beta Israel to Israel between November 1984 and January 1985
  •  Operation Moses had to stop when Sudan stopped allowing Israel to use its land as a gateway to Israel
  • Around 15,000 Beta Israel were left in Ethiopia after Operation Mose
  •  Then Vice President George Bush helped organize Operation Joshua, which brought 800 Ethiopians to Israel in 1985
{Source: Jewish Virtual Library}

Click here for Facts and Figures on Operation Solomon

Click here for Facts and Figures on the Ethiopian-Israeli Community