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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > Summer 2018 Newsletter > Beit Berl College Hosts Seminar on History and Absorption of Ethiopian Jews

Beit Berl College Hosts Seminar on History and Absorption of Ethiopian Jews



The Whole World
one-day seminar discussed the history of Ethiopian Jews, their immigration and absorption in Israel, and the importance of documenting memories as a path to integration. The seminar combined original academic research and current discussions in addressing the need to educate about Ethiopians Jews and their immigration in order to change the collective narrative about Ethiopians Israelis.  




The first session provided the unique history of Ethiopia against the backdrop of the successful stance against European colonialism and the distinct nature of Ethiopian Christianity and its predecessors. The second session discussed Zionism among Ethiopian Jews - from the struggle to recognize their Judaism and the Law of Return to the captivating stories of Operation Moses in the early 1980’s - presenting a variety of testimonies, expanding the monolithic approach that characterizes the attitude of society and the establishment to excluded groups. The final session presented the integration process in Israel - a journey that, for some Ethiopians, is even more than the difficult physical journey to Israel - with leading Ethiopian social activists presenting their approach to the integration and attitude of the state. Among the key speakers was Knesset Member Pnina Tamano-Shata (Yesh Atid), Dr. Anbessa Teferra, Lecturer of Linguistics at Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Leonardo Cohen, Lecturer of African Studies at Ben Gurion University.​ 



Held May 17, coinciding with the week marking Jerusalem Day and the date of the state memorial service for those who perished, the program included a moving and dignified memorial ceremony organized by students from the Ethiopian community. It also featured an exhibit of memoirs and photographs based on documentation by students from Mulu-Elem and cultural mediators group of Beit Berl College, uploaded to the TARASA website. The planned expansion of the collection of Ethiopian Jews in TARASA intends to contribute the history of this impressive community as part of the collective memory of Israeli society. The seminar is the result of a joint initiative of the Time Tunnel Program, the Center for the Advancement of Shared Life, the Unit for Ethiopian Students, the Informal Education Track, and the Fidel Association.



Dr. Boaz Lev-Tov, co-Head of Time Tunnel and the TARASA project, spoke to i24 news about the significance of this work: 
 
 
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