2016 - 2017

  Introduction to the History of Ethiopian Jews                                                       
Sharon ShalomGilman-humanities449Sun1600-1800 Sem  1
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description
The "Beta Yisrael" community has existed for hundreds of years on the continent of Africa , completely cut off from other Jewish diaspora in the world. In the absence of concrete facts, various researchers have publisheds many theories concerning the origins of "Beta Yisrael." The community of Beta Yisrtael haqs for hundreds of years in a wide range of relationships with Ethiopian neighbors and rulers. In modern times were added contact with the European Protestant mission, along side the deepening problems between them and world Jewry. All these had long lasting influence on fashioning their identity and characterizing their lives as Jew in Ethiopia.
As regards to the prevailing perception of the Land of Israel among the Jews of "Beta Yisrael" they saw it as the Holy Land, which served as a special destination to which going, when political opportunities are right, was worth any self-sacrifice. The story of the "aliya" [immigration] of Beta Yisrael is a story of wonders, so because after thousands of years of disconnect from the rest of the Jewish diaspora, the Jews of Ethiopia have returned to their homeland. However, the unique history of the Jews of Ethiopia has led to an ambivilence in relating to their Jewishness. All of these have had - and still has - far reaching effects on their identity and on their life style as Jews in Ethiopia and in Israel. The course will deal with the history of "Beta Yisrael" from the points of view of Ethiopia, Jewis, Israeli and Global.

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