JERUSALEM (May. 14)
The many hundreds of Ethiopian Jews who died of hunger, disease and weakness during the long trek en route to Israel are to be commemorated in a new forest outside Jerusalem.
The Jewish National Fund has earmarked a site near Kibbutz Ramat Rahel for this project, which will include trees and a stone monument. The project is a joint initiative of the JNF and the Ministry of Absorption.
According to Haaretz, estimates of the number of Ethiopian immigrants who died on their way to Israel vary from 300 to 600. Most of them, the paper says, were very old or very young.
Jerusalem Day, which will be celebrated on Sunday, is to have an Ethiopian flavor — with many of the new arrivals to be taken by train from various places in the north of the country to the capital. For some it will be their first train journey, and for some their first visit to the holy city.