World Judaism – Ethiopian Jewry in Israel (2000)

Ethiopian Jewry in Israel (2000)

The Falash Mura identify themselves as descendants of Jews (Beta Israel) who had converted to Christianity due to social and economic conditions within Ethiopia. The Falash Mura have only been able to apply for aliyah through a relative already living in Israel.

In assessing the plight of the Falash Mura, one must consider equally the humanitarian, moral, and pragmatic issues involved.

Threats of violence have caused many Falash Mura’s to flee their village homes for Addis Ababa and to seek to immigrate to Israel.

The Masorti Movement position is to recognize Falash Mura as Jews and to permit them to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return. This interpretation is consistent with the Amended Law of Return of 1970.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports:

The Masorti Movement in Israel in its efforts to affirm the Jewish identity of the Falash Mura.

The government of Israel as it endeavors to facilitate requests by the Falash Mura to immigrate to Israel.

The integration of Falash Mura into Israeli society, as full and independent citizens.

Ethiopian Jewry in Israel (1986)

There are sufficient and recognized rabbinic halahkic judgments to justify the redemption of Ethiopian Jewry under the Law of Return.

For centuries, Ethiopian Jews have sacrificed their lives to defend their Jewish heritage, only to find their legitimacy challenged by the present Chief Rabbinate upon their return to Zion.

Our Jewish tradition teaches us to be concerned about the anguish of our brothers. There should be no embarrassment inflicted upon Ethiopian Jews by demands for their unwarranted conversion to Judaism.

Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism:

Proclaims its support of the total integration of Ethiopian Jews into Am Yisrael, without any embarrassment or demands regarding unwarranted conversion.

Aligns with the Masorti Movement in Israel which seeks to affirm the Jewish identity of the Ethiopian Jews and which is actively engaged in local projects for their welfare.

Commends those efforts already undertaken to facilitate the transition of Ethiopian Jews as full and independent Israeli citizens and urges continued and expanded programs.