June 25, 2024
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Jewish Federation Leaders Accompany Ethiopians to Israel as Aliyah Resumes

(JNS) Dozens of community leaders from Jewish Federations across North America accompanied 180 Ethiopian new immigrants on a charter flight to Israel, following a three-day mission in Ethiopia.

Federation leaders are meeting with community members awaiting aliyah in Gondar and Addis Ababa, and visiting sites of historical significance for Ethiopian Jewry. The leaders are joined by other officials from the Jewish Agency for Israel, Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), the World Zionist Organization (WZO), and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Also accompanying the passengers are Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian-born woman to enter the Knesset; chairman of the WZO and acting chairman of the Jewish Agency Yaakov Hagoel; and Jeffrey A. Schoenfeld, chair of the Israel and Overseas Committee of the Jewish Federations of North America.

At press time, a second flight of 160 olim was scheduled to arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Thursday, June 2.

The two flights mark the resumption of “Operation Tzur Israel” (“Rock of Israel”), an initiative approved by the Israeli government allowing 3,000 members of the Jewish community in Ethiopia to reunite with their family members in Israel.

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