Just the facts: The Ethiopian community of Jerusalem

The number of Ethiopian community members residing is relatively low in Jerusalem, as well as other Israeli cities.

Population chart (photo credit: Courtesy)
Population chart
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For some months now, activists from the Ethiopian immigrant community have maintained a tent camp in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem in protest against the racism they face in Israeli society and in support of equal opportunity. The demonstration arose in the aftermath of a number of instances in which Ethiopian schoolchildren had been separated from their classmates. Members of the community also complain about discrimination in matters of housing and employment as well as cultural oppression on the part of the Israeli establishment.
Israel’s Ethiopian community emerged following the waves of immigration that began with Operation Moses in 1984 and continued throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The immigration peaked with Operation Solomon in 1991, which brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel by means of an airlift that took place during a single weekend.
Israel’s Ethiopian community numbers approximately 120,000, constituting 1.6% of the total population. It is a relatively young population: over 70% are below the age of 34. About 34% of the Ethiopian community’s members were born in Israel.
The number of Ethiopian community members residing in Jerusalem is relatively low – 5,000 individuals, constituting only 0.6% of the population. The Ethiopian population is relatively small in the other major cities as well: approximately 4,300 (1.6%) in Haifa and only 2,000 (0.5%) in Tel Aviv. The city with the largest Ethiopian population is Netanya, with 10,000 individuals, constituting 5.3% of the total population. The Ethiopian community makes up a relatively large percentage of the population in Kiryat Malachi (15.5%), Afula (8.2%), Yavne (7.3%), Kiryat Gat (6.7%), and Hadera (6%).
And what about the environs of Jerusalem? Beit Shemesh has an Ethiopian community of 3,100 individuals, comprising 3.9% of the city’s population. A total of 1,100 Ethiopians (4.7%) reside in Mevaseret Zion, and approximately 900 (2.6%) in Ma’aleh Adumim. In Jerusalem, the neighborhood of Ir Ganim stands out, with about 800 Ethiopian community members (24% of the area’s population). Roughly 500 reside in the residential complexes in Talpiot and the area of Hakatzin Silver Street (15% of the area’s population); about 400 reside in the neighborhood of Katamon Tet (15%), and approximately 300 reside in the western portion of Neveh Ya’acov.www.jiis.org