Africa

  • Amid Political Turmoil, Emigration from South Africa is Again on Rise

    The euphoria that permeated all sectors of the South African population with its first democratic election in 1994 has degenerated into widespread pessimism with the forced resignation of President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki, who enjoyed a good relationship with the Jewish community and presided over a once-flourishing economy, was pushed out by his own party in… More ▸

  • Amid the Turmoil of South Africa, Jewish Activism Makes a Difference

    I recently had an opportunity, rarely afforded to presidents and CEOs, to spend six weeks in the shoes of one of my organization’s volunteers. I joined the American Jewish World Service’s Volunteer Corps, which places mid- and late-career professionals on assignments with nongovernmental organizations throughout the developing world. In this city, I was assigned to… More ▸

  • In Ethiopia, We Must Fulfill Mitzvah of Redeeming Captives

    The world is filled with irony; some of it tragic. A good example is the case of the Ethiopians languishing in Gondar waiting to make aliyah to Israel. In 1989, when I visited Ethiopia for the first time, the North American Jewish community was contributing funds that provided food and health care, and educated the… More ▸

  • Aliyah from Ethiopia Must Continue

    The cold, rainy season in northwestern Ethiopia is at its peak, adding to the misery of thousands of Jews who recently have learned that Israel intends to abandon them in Ethiopia and that funds essential to their survival have run out. When the rains stop and malaria mosquitoes breed in the puddles, some of the… More ▸

  • Bringing Falash Mura Impugns the Real Ethiopian Jews

    The 125,000 Ethiopians who live in Israel immigrated here in dribs and drabs. When Ethiopians first started coming to Israel in the 1970s, some members of Israel’s political elite referred to us as “temporary migrant workers.” Things began to change only during the waves of aliyah in the 1980s, under Menachem Begin’s Likud government. The… More ▸

  • Major Phase of Ethiopian Aliyah Ends, but Advocates Push for More

    When the plane from Ethiopia touched down early Tuesday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport with 65 new immigrants aboard, there was no ceremony to mark what constituted the end of a major phase of mass Ethiopian aliyah. Instead, the immigrants were escorted through the old airport terminal, processed and bused to Jewish Agency-run absorption… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The era of large-scale Ethiopian aliyah is over, the Jewish Agency for Israel said. The last official airlift of Ethiopian Jews was scheduled to land in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, bringing to an end a state-organized campaign that began nearly 30 years ago and brought in some 120,000 immigrants from the east African nation. The… More ▸

  • Linking Israel to South Africa

    Linking Israel to the former apartheid state of South Africa can be traced back to the late 1960s, when the Soviet anti-Zionist campaign found common cause with Arab world grievances at the United Nations. Diplomatic pressure on Israel culminated in 1975 when the U.N. General Assembly passed the notorious “Zionism is racism” resolution. At the… More ▸

  • Unharmed by Violence but Suffering Economically, Zimbabwe Jews Hold out

    With Zimbabwe in the throes of an economic and political crisis, the country’s tiny Jewish community is holding steady. The president of a synagogue in the city of Bulawayo says Zimbabwe’s approximately 320 Jews have been left largely unharmed by the violence surrounding last week’s presidential election that drove opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai from the… More ▸

  • With Ethiopian Aliyah Ending, Uncertainty for Those Left Behind

    The sight of a mother trying to coax one more spoonful of mushy cereal into her child’s mouth is a far cry from the horrifying famine that engulfed Ethiopia in 1984. Today, the hundreds of young mothers and wide-eyed infants crowded into the Gondar Beta Israel Association’s feeding center face another problem: seemingly endless waiting…. More ▸