March 17, 1915: As of today it was reported that there are an estimated 50,000 Falashas (Black Jews) living in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and that Dr. Jacques Faitlovitch, a French Jew is working on developing an educational program for them.
The Jewish aliyah from Ethiopia, or the immigration of ethnically and religiously Jewish Ethiopians to Israel, began during the mid-1970s, during which the majority of the Beta Israel community emigrated to Israel.
From 1948 through 2013, approximately 92,000 Ethiopian Jews made aliyah to Israel. Operations Moses, Sheba, Joshua and Solomon were initiated by the Israeli government to assist the Falashas in making their emigration to Israel in the midst of political tumult and terror in both Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan.
The biggest concentrations of the Ethiopians Beta Israel today are in the cities: Beersheba, Dimona, Mitzpe Ramon, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Lod, Ramla, Or Yehuda, Jerusalem, Netanya, and Kiryat Malakhi.
This is a sample of the challenges Israel has faced in absorbing the Ethiopian immigrants, as well as the challenges that the Falasha community has faced by re-settling in Israel:
A report carried out by the Bank of Israel in 2006 found that:
- The incidence of poverty amongst Ethiopian families is estimated at about 51.7% compared with 15.8% in the general Israeli population.
- The rate of participation in the labor market is about 65.7% amongst adults compared with about 82.5% in the general Israeli population.
- The rate of unemployment amongst Ethiopians is estimated at about 13.2% compared with 7.4% in the general Israeli population.
- The monthly income per capita is estimated at about 1,994 New Israeli Shekels amongst Ethiopians compared with about 3,947 New Israeli Shekels in the general Israeli population.
Israel Post issued a stamp on April 12, 2011 to commemorate the aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry: