Ethiopia

Searching For Home

08/01/2003
Staff Writer
Siona Benjamin is alone again. Surrounded by other artists who, like her, have roots in South Asia, the Bombay native stands apart. Her paintings (which are reminiscent of Indian miniatures) clearly reflect the visual culture of her homeland. But a closer look reveals a distinctive iconography of Hebrew words, menorahs and Sabbath flames drawn from Benjamin's Jewish heritage. "I believe in using the specifics to get to the general," Benjamin said during a recent interview at her tidy home and studio in Montclair, N.J.

WJC Hot Seat For JDC Vet?

08/17/2007
Staff Writer
In the late 1970s the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the New York-based organization that supports Jewish life in small communities around the world, needed someone to head its office in Tehran.

A Touch Of Ethiopia In Israel

11/24/2006
Staff Writer
You can take the Jew out of Ethiopia, but you canít take Ethiopia out of the Jew.Even if the Jew is in Israel.Even if the Jew is in Jerusalem.Even if the date is the 29th of Cheshvan, which Ethiopian Jews marked for centuries as Sigd, their unique holiday that expressed their desire to live in the Promised Land. Now that they live there, thousands of them still celebrate Sigd each year, in Jerusalem itself.In Ethiopia, they would make a pilgrimage to the nearest hilltop, which substituted for Jerusalem, for a half-day fast and prayers and dancing and a festive meal.

Falash Mura Funds Dry Up

06/06/2008
Staff Writer
The fate of the fenced-in compound in northern Ethiopia that serves as the central feeding and education location for thousands of Falash Mura awaiting immigration to Israel is now likely in the hands of local Jewish federations. This follows the recent decision of the United Jewish Communities to halt its financial support of the programs, which became effective last week. The compound will have to curtail many of its activities to forestall closing the entire site, in Gondar, according to spokesmen for the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry.

JDC To Resume Aiding Ethiopians

11/06/1998
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is preparing to return to Ethiopia, just four months after it virtually shut down its operations in the African nation at the request of the Israeli government. Reports of death, illness and impoverished conditions among the thousands of Ethiopians who have flooded into the capital city of Addis Ababa and Gondar City prompted the move by the relief agency.

Help On Way For Falash Mura?

09/25/1998
Staff Writer
Leaders of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee signaled they may soon find a way to aid some 15,000 destitute Ethiopians who want to go to Israel after reportedly being attacked in their villages due to their Jewish connections.

The Push-And-Pull Within Jewish Philanthropy

One finds great pride among older leaders in the community for the young activists and entrepreneurs and a great eagerness to embrace them and bring them into the federation world. But while the young Turks are enthusiastic about approaching the federa

11/18/2009
Editor and Publisher

One of the fascinating dynamics in American Jewish life today involves the complex and evolving relationship among three key groups: the Establishment organizations, symbolized by the federations, the primary engine that drives the organized Jewish community; the family foundations, which have generated great sums of philanthropic money in recent years; and the hundreds of emerging start-ups, or small, independent and youth-driven nonprofit ventures that have become increasingly popular in the last decade, especially among Generations X and Y.

A strong but subtle combination of admiration, support and resistance among those groups was just under the surface of a number of discussions — public and private — last week in Washington at the GA (the annual General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America).

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Christian-Backed Aliyah Set For July

06/07/2002
Staff Writer
Steven and Esther Accardi, with their two young children, will soon be leaving their Rockland County home and jobs to join a group of 531 American Jews from across the country who are making aliyah, en masse, next month. That the tab, in part, is being picked up by Evangelical Christians (some of whom want to bring Jews to the Promised Land to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus) apparently doesn't faze them.

Falash Mura In Flux

05/20/2005
Staff Writer
Two weeks before an Israeli government program to double the immigration rate of Falash Mura from Ethiopia is set to begin, a compound operated by a New York-based humanitarian organization in Addis Ababa remains closed following threats against leaders of the Falash Mura community earlier this year.

Falash Mura Funds Dry Up

06/04/2008
Staff Writer
The fate of the fenced-in compound in northern Ethiopia that serves as the central feeding and education location for thousands of Falash Mura awaiting immigration to Israel is now likely in the hands of local Jewish federations. This follows the recent decision of the United Jewish Communities to halt its financial support of the programs, which became effective last week. The compound will have to curtail many of its activities to forestall closing the entire site, in Gondar, according to spokesmen for the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry.
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