I have just read Phil Horn’s article regarding the aliya of Ethiopian Jews to Israel and wanted to thank you for drawing attention to the situation.So much of the world has forgotten about their plight.
I recently returned from Gondar where I saw firsthand the extreme poverty of those who gave up their livelihood to come to the town to be processed for aliya, only to find some 12 years later that they will be left behind when the Jewish Agency winds up its operations in the coming year. While there are those campaigning to make the Israeli government change its mind,my concern is for their immediate welfare.
The charities that were working with them have left. As of September, the children of patrilineal descent will no longer be able to go to the Jewish school. This means they will not receive the nutritional lunch provided, nor do they receive the food parcels that the matrilinially descended take home once a week.
Meketa is a British organization that works with an NGO in Gondar helping support these Jewish Ethiopian families through education and training. Perhaps your readers might like to access its information at www.meketa.org.uk or read about the situation in more detail on my blog, www.sybilsheridan.tumblr.com.
Rabbi Sybil A. Sheridan