Israel as a country of immigration more than all others. The majority of its Jewish population, either first or second generation immigrants, emanates from over sixty countries.
All share a sense of common identity as Jews.
Ethiopians Jews , regard their rescue and arrival in Israel as the very fulfillment of their redemptive vision (Isaiah 11:11-12). Their primary identity is Jewish, not Ethiopian or African.
We can see an increasing numbers of Ethiopian Jews experiencing social and economic mobility, moving out of “the Ethiopian ghettos”, giving their children better education, and progressively becoming part of the Israeli middle class.
Today, the younger generation of Ethiopian Israelis speaks fluent Hebrew, sometimes far better than other children of immigrants (from the former USSR or the USA, for example), and for many, Hebrew is the language they most identify with, connecting them to their Israeli identity.
In 2007, the Ethiopian TV Channel was founded in Tel Aviv in an attempt to reach the Ethiopian Community. IETV was not included in basic service, but more than 16,000 people subscribed the channel.
The old Ethiopian generation , do not know how to read and write, not only in Hebrew but also in their language, Amharic and Tigrinya, without IETV they have no other way to get information.
According to David Safafa (lawyer and TV show host at IETV- Ethiopian TV Channel), the new generation is different from the old generation.
David said, “Ethiopian Jews are highly motivated to integrate into Israeli society, the gap is shrinking, Israel has it challenges, but there is also a lot of acceptance and respect for the Ethiopian culture,”
Ethiopians came from remote, rural villages and were not prepared to work and live in a modern and industrialized society, but their integration into Israel society was a big success. Israelis welcomed the Ethiopians with open arms, and were really moved by their alyiah.
“I am a man of faith, I believe in human beings, I know that when we give them opportunities and help them to grow, they will flourish,” said David Safafa, “it takes a lot of work and effort, but then the end its all worth it.”
David is right! Ethiopians have been in the highest levels of government and industries. David is also the founder of GUZO - a non profit organization that supports the Ethiopian Jews in education, providing school backpacks, and food to the poor and new immigrants.
We from SHALOM ISRAEL / L.I.F.T. ,also want the Ethiopian Jews to integrate into Israeli society. With your assistance, we could fund projects to the Ethiopian Jews in partnership with GUZO. We need more partners like you to help achieve our goals and we’d greatly appreciate your help. Let’s flourish together!