219 new olim from Ethiopia arrive in Israel

Operation Tzur Yisrael assists over 200 new immigrants to integrate to the Jewish homeland

 (photo credit: AVISHAG SHAAR YESHUV)
(photo credit: AVISHAG SHAAR YESHUV)

Some 219 new olim from Ethiopia have landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday. Their arrival marks the third flight to bring Ethiopian Jews who are waiting to immigrate to Israel as part of Operation Tzur Yisrael.

The immigrants were welcomed by the Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Yael Eckstein, and Director-General of the Jewish Agency Amira Ahronoviz.

“Operation Tzur Yisrael is in full swing,” said Tamano-Shata. “Through the end of January, and in accordance with the government decision I approved last October, a plane carrying hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants will land in Israel almost every week, until the 2,000 people who have waited many years to arrive in Israel are reunited with their families. This is a great privilege for me, and is certainly a significant reason why it has been meaningful for me to serve in the government as immigration and integration minister.”

"The aliyah for those who are waiting to leave Ethiopia as part of Operation Tzur Yisrael is continuing, as I promised,” she added.  “At this hour, hundreds of additional immigrants are arriving in Israel who will be privileged to embrace their families under the Israeli sky. The olim on this flight, as well as those from other flights, join 450 immigrants who arrived about two weeks ago, and more than 20,000 new olim who immigrated this year alone from all over the world to establish their home in Israel.”

Operation Tzur Yisrael has been responsible for reuniting entire families in Israel. Since Israel's establishment in 1948, the Jewish Agency has brought 95,000 immigrants from Ethiopia and helped absorb them into Israeli society.

The Fellowship was one of the first organizations to bring olim from Ethiopia as early as the 1980s, in partnership with the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, to assist them into a successful absorption into Israeli society, according to Eckstein.  The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has donated 500,000 dollars in 2020 to help bring as many Ethiopian Jews on Aliyah as possible.

The new olim have gone into quarantine immediately, as is the procedure for all arriving immigrants from around the world. After quarantine, they will be reunited with awaiting family members. The Aliyah and Integration Ministry and the Jewish Agency have prepared for their klita at absorption centers throughout the country once the quarantine period ends. New olim will receive support and guidance in all aspects of Israeli life, from practical skills including learning Hebrew to preparing for employment and education.

The organization Operation Tzur Yisrael was made possible by the Jewish Agency, and its partners in the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod, with the support of their many donors and foundations worldwide.