The Jews of Ethiopia:

Being Black, Jewish and Israeli

Sunday, June 19

USA 10:30 am PT / 1:30 pm ET

UK 6:30 pm / France 7:30 pm / Israel 8:30 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

The story of the exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel is one of the most moving historical events of the Jewish people. Although it happened recently, most Israelis and Diaspora Jewry are not aware of the difficulties and challenges encountered by Ethiopian Jews in their trek to reach Israel. 

The Ethiopian Jews lived for centuries in northern and northwestern Ethiopia, in more than 500 small villages spread over a wide territory. They made contact with other Jewish communities in the later 20th century, and most of the community immigrated to Israel. In this session we will embark on a journey from Ethiopia to Israel and learn about the Jewish Ethiopian community's way of life, traditions and reality.

By engaging through a personal Aliyah story, we will learn about the identity, strengths, and activism of the community and their effort to realize the dream of reaching Jerusalem. We will also talk about the reality of life in Israel for the grandparents and parents' generation and for the second generation of Israeli- Ethiopians.

About Naftali

Naftali Aklum was born in Ethiopia in 1979. The following year, in 1980, his family were among the first group to make Aliya to Israel via Sudan in what later became known as "Operation Moses." He is the youngest of 12 siblings, and his late brother Ferede Aklum was the first Ethiopian Jew to make the journey to Jerusalem via Sudan setting the stage for others to follow. In his footsteps, literally, over 8,000- of 12,000- successfully reached Israel.

Naftali Graduated from Ben Gurion University in 2008 in Politics, Government, History and Middle Eastern Studies. For many years Naftali has taken an active role in mentoring and educating through lectures, workshops and tours around the history of Ethiopian Jews. As a member of the Ethiopian Israeli community in Beersheba, his objective is to enable the Ethiopians in Israel to share their unique narrative and cultural treasures with others, to empower the community and to contribute to a pluralistic Israeli society that views its communal diversity as a source of strength.

Choose your contribution amount

With your contribution you will also be donating to the Yerus project of the Jewish National Fund, which aims to preserve Ethiopian Culture in Israel.

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This event is a live experience. RECORDINGS WON'T BE AVAILABLE AFTER THE TALK

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