Dr Mike Evans

Nearly 200 Ethiopian Jews land in Israel as part of Operation Tzur Yisrael

A group of 181 Ethiopian Jews landed in Israel on Wednesday as part of Operation Tzur Israel.

The operation has approved 3,000 relatives of Ethiopian immigrants to be reunited with family members already living in Israel. The landing follows the completion of the first stage of the operation in March 2021 when 2,000 Ethiopian Jew entered Israel.

Another flight of 160 Ethiopian Jewish immigrants is expected to arrive this week.

“The Jewish Federations of North America are proud of our decades-long work hand in hand with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel to help more than 97,000 Ethiopian Jews fulfill their dream of immigrating to Israel and supporting their absorption into Israeli society,” said Mark Wilf, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, according to the Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

“This sacred effort is the highest expression of the Jewish Federations’ dedication to helping Jews wherever they are, and we will continue to work with our partners to support Israel’s first steps in Ethiopian immigration and assist those still waiting to immigrate.”

The movement continues as Israel’s population has continued to grow despite recent pandemic travel restrictions. On May 1, Haaretz reported that the nation’s population reached 9.5 million on the eve of Israel’s 74 Independence Day.

A total of 38,000 people immigrated to Israel in 2021, with large numbers of immigrants recently moving to Israel from Ukraine and Russia. The past year marked the highest immigration level in 20 years, according to the Jewish Agency, with the nation’s overall population expanding by nearly 2%.