First Known Ethiopian Jews to Move to Israel with ‘Official’ Permission Since 2017
Family of Chidon HaTanach participant Sintayehu Shaparou to arrive in the country later this month; will resettle in northern Israel
Some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews remain abroad, living in poverty
August 22, 2018 ————-
The mother and siblings of Sintayehu Shaparou, the Ethiopian who competed in Israel’s April 2018 Chidon HaTanach contest, will arrive in Israel later this month. The family is being granted residency status after months of lobbying the government.
“We are finally seeing progress,” said A.Y. Katsof, director of The Heart of Israel, who raised $10,000 for flights and early resettlement costs of the family in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in northern Israel.
The Shaparous are members of the Falash Mura community in Ethiopia. Sintayehu Shaparou’s father and half-siblings immigrated to Israel 17 years ago while Shaparou, his mother, and other siblings awaited approval for Aliyah in Ethiopia – though the approval never came.
Sintayehu Shaparou was granted residency by the Interior Ministry in April 2018 after it became public that Sintayehu was forced to deposit money with immigration and border control officials as a guarantee that he would leave the country following the Bible contest.
The Shaparous have never learned the reason for the rejection of their immigration application, according to Katsof, who stressed that the family’s situation is just one example of hundreds whose families have been separated and left in limbo.
The government decided in 2015 to bring the remaining members of the Falash Mura community to Israel. The government brought a first 1,300 in 2017 and has yet to approve a budget for any further immigration. Since the government would not pay for the Shaparou’s Aliyah, the Heart of Israel raised the money from private donors.
For more information: Maayan Hoffman at +972-50-718-9742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.