To ease assimilation of future olim, Bnei Akiva launches in Ethiopia

Youth movement opens center in Gondar, Ethiopia, to cater to last-standing of historic Jewish community.

By
February 14, 2016 09:52
1 minute read.
Bnei Akiva

Bnei Akiva in Gondar, Ethiopia. . (photo credit: BNEI AKIVA)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The World Bnei Akiva youth movement recently launched an inaugural branch in Gondar, Ethiopia, to cater to the remaining 6,000 person-large Jewish community awaiting aliya to Israel.

The 6,000 mark the last of Ethiopia's Jews, and, according to a governmental decision made late last year, are expected to make aliya within the next five years - a move which would bring about the end of a Jewish diaspora in the African country.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Gondar-based branch of the movement was launched nearly two months ago with the intention of easing assimilation into Israeli society for the Ethiopian youth, introducing them to concepts of Zionism, Judaism, and the land of Israel, before setting out on their life-changing move.

This initial exposure to Bnei Akiva is to serve as a stepping-stone for the youth, who are expected to carry on with involvement in the movement once they make aliya and are placed in absorption centers in Israel.

"Historically, World Bnei Akiva has worked to encourage aliya in the diaspora," Roee Abekasis, head of the organization, said. "We were presented with an important and pioneering challenge to launch activities in Ethiopia...[which would serve as an introduction and] be followed with integration into a Bnei Akiva branch in Israel" post-aliya.

"We are working on building a base of activities in Gondar, and recruiting the best of emissaries for the cause," Abekasis added.

The branch is being led by emissaries from Israel who were sent on a several-week-long mission to train would-be counselors within the community, along with a local youth who has taken on a leading role.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


World Bnei Akiva is working to establish a more permanent leadership base of Israeli emissaries in Gondar in order to expand the organization's activities within the greater community. Simultaneously, branches of the youth movement in Israel are preparing for the absorption of the Ethiopian olim.

"Bnei Akiva has been operating in absorption centers for olim for years now," said Danny Hirschberg, head of the movement in Israel. "The activities in Gondar are easing the transition process and allowing us to properly absorb olim from the community in our centers in Israel."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

PROTESTERS HOLD signs during a ‘March For Our Lives’ demonstration demanding gun control in Sacramen
October 22, 2018
Mother of Florida shooting victim pays tribute to son in NY synagogue

By RACHELLE BLIDNER/TNS