Don’t Abandon Ethiopians say Progressives

September 28, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The World Union for Progressive Judaism representing 1.8 million affiliated Jews in 42 countries calls upon the Jewish Agency and the State of Israel to re-consider seriously the decision to close down  Operation Dove Wings. 


Home – an Ethiopian child kisses the tarmac at Ben-Gurion airport

This program has successfully brought  seven thousand of Ethiopian Jews ( Falash Mura or Zera Israel) to live in Israel. Unfortunately, nearly 5000 have been left behind. Many of those, who have been waiting for years to join family already living in Israel are now destitute and are living on charity handouts. The excuse given has been that many of those left are not halakhically Jewish but all of those who have been previously accepted go though a year  conversion program even though many  can show matrilineal Jewish decent.

The living conditions in Gondar are harsh and those waiting have few or no  resources. Mothers wait to join children already accepted, siblings their brothers and sisters. The decisions to accept or refuse migration to Israel appears arbitrary and in many cases very unfair, dividing families and committing those left behind to a life of poverty and misery.

Having successfully brought so many Ethiopian Jews to Israel surely the Jewish Agency and the State of Israel could provide a sympathetic gesture and fly those left behind  to live in the land of their dreams.”




One Response to “Don’t Abandon Ethiopians say Progressives”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    This unsigned article makes a humanitarian issue a Progressive Jewish one. It could be counterproductive if the haredi take it as an attack on “true” Judaism.

    ALL(!!!) Jews should be concerned with the ingathering of people who are Jewish or who were forcibly converted, even if that occurred centuries ago.

    There is an appeal process that Falash Mura can use, but clearly that takes too long. We need to know more details about why the Jewish Agency stopped the project and how quickly it can be restarted to bring all those Jews home.

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