(JNS) — A group of 130 Ethiopian immigrants arrived in Israel on Wednesday, bringing to 5,000 the number of new olim from the African country over the last two and half years, announced the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel.
The latest wave of Ethiopian immigration, dubbed “The Rock of Israel,” aimed to bring on aliyah those in Gondar and Addis Ababa who have first-degree relatives in the Jewish state.
Seventy percent of the immigrants are under the age of 35; half are children or teenagers.
The Jewish Agency worked in cooperation with several government offices including the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Ministry of the Interior, the Population Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health to carry out the government’s plans.
The efforts were also made possible with the help of Jewish Federations, Keren Hayesod, private donors and foundations, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, and friends of Israel from Korea and around the world.
“By completing this milestone and continuing to facilitate the aliyah and absorption of Ethiopians who have long yearned to arrive in the Jewish homeland, we have actualized the core value of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to advocate for the most vulnerable individuals among us,” said Mark Wilf, chairman of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors.
About 160,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel today, accounting for about 2.3% of the Jewish population and 1.75% of the total population.