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Shma Koleinu: A Jewish People's Commentary on the Siddur
by Rabbi Steven Schwarzman


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Encyclopedia Judaica, Second Edition (21 Volume Set)
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Ethiopian Jews

Looking for a good book on Ethiopian Jews?

If anyone ever tries to tell you that Jews are racist or that Israel is an apartheid country, tell them about the Jews of Ethiopia.

You see, not only are there Black Jews, but Israel rescued the Jews of Ethiopia and brought them to Israel to live. The actual rescue was incredible. At one point, Israel was given a single weekend to bring thousands of Jews crammed into a makeshift compound. The response? Precisely what you'd expect: absolutely every available airplane was pressed into service in a massive airlift from Africa to Israel.

In Israel, of course, the Jews from Ethiopia have faced difficulties. Not because their skin is dark - there are plenty of Jews with various skin shades, though admittedly not as dark - but because in many cases the older members of families came with serious health problems, the likes of which Israeli doctors had to refer to medical textbooks to treat because such diseases were no longer known in Israel. And mostly because traditional society came to a screeching halt. The older family members were traditional and did not, for the most part, have a familiarity with Western society and education. The younger members, growing up in Israel, experienced the now-familiar gap between their parents and the secular world around them, a world only they could navigate in.

Generalizations, thankfully, are still only mostly true. Some Ethiopian Jews came to Israel with university educations. Others have gone on to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and are integrating into Israeli society. Some are finding ways to preserve the traditions their families brought with them even as they become part and parcel of Israel's social fabric.

Books on Ethiopian Jews

The books on Ethiopian Jews here tell different parts of this gripping, complex story.

ethiopian jews

Concise Amharic Dictionary: Amharic-English English-Amharic

From Falasha to Freedom: An Ethiopian Jew's Journey to Jerusalem

The Black Jews of Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Jewish Exodus: Narratives of the Journey (Memory and Narrative)

ethiopian jews

The Dream Behind Bars: The Story of the Prisoners of Zion from Ethiopia

ethiopian jews

The Moon Is Bread

The Ethiopian Jewish Exodus: Narratives of the Journey (Memory and Narrative)

A Song of Longing: An Ethiopian Journey

ethiopian jews

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Politics Behind the Rescue of Ethiopian Jewry

When I Left My Village

Hyena People: Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society, 13)

ethiopian jews

Hyena People: Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society, 13) - Paperback

The Return

ethiopian jews

On the Wings of Eagles: An Ethiopian Child's Story

The Lost Jews: Last of the Ethiopian Falashas

For Our Soul: Ethiopian Jews in Israel (Jewish Folklore and Anthropology Series)

My Name Is Rachamim

The Evolution of the Ethiopian Jews: A History of the Beta Israel (Falasha to 1920)

Rescue the Ethiopian Jews!: A Memoir, 1955-1995

Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia

The Beta Israel (Falasha in Ethiopia: From Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century)

ethiopian jews

Music, Ritual, and Falasha History (Ethiopian Series, Monograph No 17)

The Two Zions: Reminiscences of Jerusalem and Ethiopia

Redemption Song: The Story of Operation Moses

The Beta Israel in Ethiopia and Israel: Studies on Ethiopian Jews

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