Paris Returns to
Rabbi Hailu Paris and Monica Wiggan
[Rabbi Hailu Paris is an Ethiopian-born rabbi of the Israelite Community. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University, teaches Talmud and Ethiopian History in the Israelite Rabbinical Academy, was the spiritual leader of Mt. Horeb E.H. Congregation in the Bronx, New York, and is a member of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis.]
the conference (held at the Hilton Hotel) we viewed slides of maps that
outlined the area that the Bible speaks of.
The slides showed ample evidence of the influence of the Bible upon its
development. There were ancient temples
before Christianity; i.e., the ruins of the castle of the Queen of Sheba in
Axum, the stalae of Axum, and
On Shabbat, Monica went
with Daniel Workneh, an Ethiopian Jew who was introduced to us by Professor
Ephraim Isaac, to see the Adenite synagogue in
Sunday morning, Monica and I, along with Minister Richard Honeywell, went to
visit the Beta Israel community at their camp in
the rebirth of the State of Israel, they desired to return to the Jewish
faith. Many of the community that
The training programs
run by the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ), which
comprised of Hebrew classes, mikvah, computer training, lunch program and grain
distribution are no longer available and the classrooms were emptied of
classroom material. The material to make Tallism and pray shawls were not
available to the community after NACOEJ left.
We were told after NACOEJ left the community found aid in receiving
medical care from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. We heard them express fear over the prospect of
not receiving approval to settle in
A two day mission that brought some 100 Jewish leaders from Israel and the Diaspora for a first hand look at the living conditions of the Falash Mura, caused the New York based United Jewish Communities to launch Operation Promise, a $100 million initiative of the UJC in cooperation with the Jewish Federations of North America, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, and the Jewish Agency of Israel to bring them to Israel as soon as possible.
On Tuesday evening, we went to visit another community who call themselves Beit Avraham. The following letter was written by their spiritual leader, Mesfin Assefa, and best describes this community in his own words (his English is a little broken):
We are the lost tribes of
Avraham) living in North Shewa parts and
Kechene Village in Addis Ababa,
To emancipate our communities from suffering, persecution and discrimination and to walk together with our brothers in the world, we the young Jews have established the "Ethiopian North Shewa Zionist Organization" officially to practice Judaism, to study Hebrew and history, to improve our living standard, to help each other, and to fulfill our Zionism dream with the help of God of Israel (HaShem).
But now, we have no sufficient capacity and resources to accomplish our mission or objective. So we request your organization to give us advice, information and material support related to our mission objectives and we want to announce our Jewish community (Beit Avraham) in your website and newsletters. Please hear our voices in the world Jewish community!
We are looking forward to your attention and support.