Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israeli rabbis declare Beta Israel Ethiopians to be ‘Jewish’

January 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Ethiopian Jews gather for a solemn collective prayer at a small synagogue on 23 February 2019 [Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate Council yesterday recognised the Beta Israel group as “Jewish”, local media outlets have reported.

The Ethiopian-origin Jews have claimed that Israel did not recognise their Judaism because of their “black African origins”.

The Council was reported to have taken the recognition decision in November, but it was not disclosed at the time. It will now adopt a pronouncement by the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who declared four decades ago that the community from Ethiopia is Jewish.

READ: Israel prevents student missions from visiting Ethiopia