Over 100,000 Ethiopian Jews have been flown to the “Promised Land” over the past twenty years, but at least 15,000 remain stuck and unable to join relatives who left Ethiopia during this time period. Recently, thousands of Ethiopian Jews gathered around a phone speaker to hear a sermon from Haifa which assured them of being able to come to Israel in the coming years. Rabbi Menachem Waldman, speaking in Hebrew, said, “you are all sons and daughters of Israel. God will give you what you deserve. We haven’t stopped our long struggle to bring all of you home.” However, thousands remain and surprised they are not able to join family members who are in Israel.
Unfortunately, many Ethiopian Jews encounter racial prejudice when they arrive in the “Promised Land.” There is discrimination in their attempts to get jobs and their children are often segregated into all black classes in schools. Obviously, older Ethiopians have greater difficulty adjusting to life in a post industrial society, but most do not wish to remain in Ethiopia.