International Conference Beta Israel – A History of Coping and Struggle - Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center
International Conference “Beta Israel – A History of Coping and Struggle

International Conference Beta Israel – A History of Coping and Struggle

27.03.2023 - 28.03.2023 00:00
Tisch Center, ANU Museum, Tel Aviv University Campus

The third conference of the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center, in collaboration with the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center at Tel Aviv University; the Africa Unit, S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies, Tel Aviv University; the Azrieli Center for Israel Studies (MALI), Ben Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben Gurion University of the Negev; ANU Museum of the Jewish People; the Baron De Hirsch Fund; The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University


Monday, 27.3.2023 – Opening Evening

16:00 – 17:00 - Conference participants are invited to a guided tour at the ANU Museum of the Jewish People, and to experience the new tour on the topic of the Beta Israel community.
17:00 – 17:30 – Gathering and refreshments.
17:30 – 18:00 – Greetings
Moderator: Ziona Desta Nega
Dr. Simcha Getahune, chairwoman of the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center
Prof. Avi Bareli, director of the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben Gurion University
Prof. Roni Stauber, head of the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University
Steven Friedman, representing the Baron De Hirsch Fund
Dan Tadmor, CEO of ANU – the Museum of the Jewish People
18:00 – 18:30 Keynote Lecture
Danny Admasu, MALI, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
A Narrative of Glorification and Exclusion in the Aliyah of the Ethiopian Jews in the 80s: ‘Operation Moses’ as a Test Case
18:30 – 19:45 Roundtable: Aliyah Activists
Participants: Abraham Yerday, Addisu Masala, Belaynesh Ayeh, Rahamim Elazar, Babu Yakov
19:45 – 20:00 Concluding Remarks
Naphtali Avraham, CEO, Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center

Tuesday, 28.3.2023


9:00 – 10:30
Chair: Prof. Bat-Zion Eraqi Klorman, The Open University of Israel
Matteo D’Avanzo, Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and INALCO, Paris
From Italian Fascist Rule to Jewish Internationalism through the Experience of Ethiopian Jews
Dr. Alemayehu Erkihun Engida, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia
Ramifications of Boundary Disputes on the Beta-Israel Community: Evidence from Metema and West Armachiho
Dr. Desalegn Amsalu, Addis Ababa University
Legal Treatment of the Betä Israel Community in Ethiopia: A Historical Overview
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:00 Second Session: Challenges of Survival (in English)
Chair: Prof. Irit Back, Tel Aviv University
Dr. Marcia Kupfer, Independent scholar
The Representation of Jews and Judaism in Solomonic Ethiopia
Dr. Tirsit Sahledingle, Addis Ababa University
A Jewish Community of Kechene in Addis Ababa

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 15:00 Third Session: Coping with Challenges in Ethiopia – Part 2 (in Hebrew)
Chair: Prof. Esther Meir, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Wovite Worku-Mengisto, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and David Yellin College and Dr. Bar Kribus, Tel Aviv University
The Impact of the Ethos of the Struggles in the Sǝmen Mountains in the Days of the Gideonite Dynasty on the Life of the Betä Ǝsraʾel Community in this Region in Later Times
Mauricio Lapchik Minski, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Jews and Judaism in Ethiopia in the Eyes of the Jesuits – Resistance and Struggles
Dr. Shula Mola, Brandeis University
In the First Person: The Story of the Beta Israel Community from the Village of Enkash – Beyond the Myth of Persecution and Rescue
15:00-15:30 Break

15:30 – 16:30 Fourth Session: The Struggle for Aliyah (in Hebrew)
Chair: Dr. Aviad Moreno, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Mordechai Baruch, Ariel University
The Ways in Which the Religious Leader Qes Berhan Baruch Coped in His Twofold Struggle: Vis-à-vis the Christian Mission in Ethiopia and the Zionist and Rabbinical Institutions in Israel
Dr. Louise Fischer and Michal Saft, Israel State Archives
‘If the Rescue Activities Will Not Increase in Momentum… There Will Be No One To Save’: The Israeli Government and the Beta Israel Activists in the Struggle for Aliyah from Ethiopia.
16:30 – 17:30 Roundtable: Social Activists
Moderator: Dr. Shula Mola
Participants: Avi Yalou, Ziva Mekonen-Degu, Itzhak Tayeb, Banchi Meshesha
17:30 – 18:00 Break

18:00 – 19:30 Fifth Session: Social and Political Struggles in Israel (in Hebrew)
Chair: Dr. Simcha Getahune, Kibbutzim College
Dr. Elad Wexler, Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center
The Struggle of the Ethiopian Jews Against the Chief Rabbinate and Against the Giyur le-Chumra
Uri Perednik, Bar Ilan University
Israel Even Though He Has Sinned? A Critical View on the Media Coverage of the Struggle for the Aliyah of the Ethiopian Jews between the Years 2015-2020
Dr. Ravit Talmi-Cohn, Ruppin Academic Center
A Vague Aliyah Policy – Its Expressions and Consequences
19:30 – 19:45 Concluding Remarks
Prof. Galia Sabar, Tel Aviv University


The conference will be broadcast live on the Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center's website.