The Center for Ethiopian Jewish Heritage and its affiliated research institute will hold academic conferences throughout the year, as well as book launches and folklore conferences about the heritage, history, and culture of Ethiopian Jewry. The main annual conference of the institute is held every February, and other events are held periodically and according to special dates on the calendar, such as: the Sigd holiday, the anniversary of Operation Solomon, and the anniversary of Operation Moses. The conferences will be advertised on the organization’s website and on social media. The public is invited to follow the updates.
International Conference Beta Israel – A History of Coping and Struggle
The Kingdom of the Gideonites
The Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center presents the second annual conference:The Kingdom of the Gideonites The Political Autonomy of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) and Their Wars with the Christian Solomonic Kingdom Online conference Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 15:30-21:10 Throughout the Middle Ages and early modern times, Jews commonly lived as a religious minority under Christian or Muslim rule. The Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews), on the other hand, maintained political autonomy in the Semien Mountains, the highest mountains in the Horn of Africa, and initially, in surrounding areas as well. This self-governed area is known in Beta Israel tradition as the Kingdom of the Gideonites, named after the monarchs who ruled over it and were called Gedewon (Gideon). The acts of valor of the Beta Israel in the wars waged between them and the Christian Solomonic kingdom (15th-17th century) served for generations as a source of inspiration for the community and for World Jewry in general, and had a deep impact on the interaction between the Beta Israel and the Jewish World. This conference is dedicated to the history of the Beta Israel at the time of their political autonomy and military conflicts with the Solomonic kingdom. This period in the community’s history, despite its crucial importance, has so far received very little scholarly and public attention.
|15:30-16:00||Introduction: Dr. Elad Wexler, Head of the Research Institute of the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center Welcome addresses: Hili Tropper, Minister of Culture and Sport Dr. Simcha Getahune, chairwoman of the Public Council, the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center Dr. Anbessa Teferra, chairman of the Scientific Committee, the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center|
|16:00-17:00||First panel: The Place of the Kingdom of the Gideonites in the Community’s Traditions and Heritage Chair: Dr. Simcha Getahune, chairwoman of the Public Council, the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center, Kibbutzim College Rabbi Moshe Baruch: Queen Judith and Who Were the Gideonites? Daniel Belete: Gideon VII at the Time of His Reign and Afterwards|
|17:30-19:00||Second Panel: The Political Autonomy of the Beta Israel in the Sources of the Jewish and Christian World Chair: Dr. Anbessa Teferra, Tel Aviv University|
|Dr. Bar Kribus, Ruhr University, Bochum: Where was the Kingdom of the Gideonites? The Borders and Scope of the Political Autonomy of the Betä Ǝsraʾel and the Location and Characteristics of Its Political Centers Dr. Leonardo Cohen and Mauricio Lapchik Minski, Ben Gurion University of the Negev: The Fall of the Political Autonomy in the Semien Mountains in the Eyes of Manuel de Almeida (1580-1646) – War, Destruction, and Resistance|
|.||Rabbi Menachem Waldman: The Wars of the Gideonites in Ethiopia as Reflected in the Jewish Sources of the 15th and 16th Century|
|19:30-21:00||Third session: The Involvement of the Politically Autonomous Beta Israel in the Politics and Military Struggles of the Northern Ethiopian Highlands Chair: Prof. Bat-Zion Eraqi Klorman, The Open University of Israel|
|Dessalegn Bizuneh Ayele, University of Gondar: On the Beta Israel-Muslim Alliances during the Muslim-Christian Con_icts of the 16th Century|
|Dr. Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Hamburg University: Representations of the history of Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) in the royal Chronicle of King Sarsa Dengel (r. 1597-1563): A Historical Commentary|
|Prof. Steven Kaplan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Ya’eqob: A Christian Emperor with Beta Israel Roots|
|21:00-21:10||Concluding Remarks: Naphtali Avraham, CEO, of the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center|
|Thanks: Dr. Elad Wexler, Head of the Research Institute of the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center|