The exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel is one of the most moving events in Jewish history. Although it happened recently, most Israeli and Diaspora Jews are not aware of the difficulties faced by Ethiopian Jews during their trek to reach Israel and after their arrival.
I work to bring this unique tale of suffering, perseverance and fulfillment to the forefront of Israeli society, firstly to integrate the story of Ethiopian Jews into the complex of histories of Jewish communities from around the world, and secondly to expose Israeli society to the story of Ethiopian Jews to prevent and counter racism and discrimination stemming from ignorance.
I also work to strengthen the self-image of youth from Israel’s Ethiopian community, to teach them to be proud of their rich history, their parents and their skin color (black is beautiful!).
I’m motivated by the elders of our community, who decided to turn a dream into a reality while leaving everything behind: their possessions, the eggs on their land, their sheep and cattle, all in order to return to Zion, Jerusalem, after an exile of 2,500 years. These are my heroes and role models.
In order to do what I do today, I had to resign from my amazing job in the informal education system — a very big risk, considering that I have a family with two children to support. But when you want to make a change in society, sometimes you have to take risks. Something told me that my calling is to tell the tale of my community to the whole world.
I hope to help create a more egalitarian, more respectful society in Israel, train more instructors to reach more and more places, and influence the Ministry of Education to officially introduce the story of Ethiopian Jews into the curriculum.