NEW YORK (Oct. 2)
District Attorney Eugene Gold, chairman of the Committee for Ethiopian Jewry of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), expressed concern regarding the safety and security of Ethiopian Jews in view of the continuing fighting and tensions within that country and along its borders. In a special report to member agencies of the JCRC, Gold noted that the Ethiopian Jews, Falashas, have in the past been caught between the conflicting parties in ongoing civil and external wars.
He pointed out that it is believed that the community that numbered in excess of 50,000 at the turn of the century has dwindled to almost half that number today. “Ethiopian Jewry remains a proud and dedicated community, ” Gold said, “and we must do all that we can to assure their security and assist them in fulfilling their age-old dream of immigration to Israel.”
Gold noted that facilities are available for the successful absorption of Ethiopian Jews in Israel as well as their successful integration into the larger Israeli society. He further urged that a broad scale educational effort be undertaken within the Jewish community, and then within the general community, to mobilize support and understanding for Ethiopian Jews.
“Over the centuries, the Ethiopian Jews have not forgotten their tie to the Jewish people and it is imperative that we not forget them now,” Gold added. “It is essential that people be made aware of the plight of these people, the complexity of their situation, and efforts that can be undertaken on their behalf.”