More than 200 families and supporters greeted a group of 72 Ethiopian Jews arriving in at the Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday evening on the latest aliyah (immigration to Israel) flight arranged by the Jewish Agency and sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).
Holding banners and waving flags, the Ethiopian Israelis were overjoyed to reunite with family members who have waited for years to return to Israel.
The Israeli cabinet decided last year to resume aliyah operations to bring the last remnant of the Ethiopian Jewish community to Israel. Tuesday’s flight was the first since the program was reinstated, and several more flights are planned for June. Some 9,000 Jews are still waiting in Ethiopia for Israeli government approval to make aliyah.
The ICEJ, a global Christian ministry based in Jerusalem, has provided funding to the Jewish Agency to sponsor the flights of hundreds of Ethiopian Jews who have been anxiously waiting for many years to reunite with family members in Israel.
The ICEJ has committed to sponsoring the entire first year of renewed Ethiopian aliyah, during which 1,400 new immigrants are expected. It is also providing financial aid to assist with the very important absorption phase as these Jewish immigrants adjust to the new language and culture of Israel. Christians from all over the world have been contributing to this humanitarian cause, including generous donations from Christians across Africa.