Dror Israel’s Youth Movement Welcomes Ethiopian Olim

Updated: Jan 12

Of the 10 thousand Ethiopian Jews who have been waiting in Gondar and Addis Ababa to make aliya for over 15 years, 2000 arrived to Israel on flights before the end 2020 as part of Operation Rock of Israel. With COVID-19 sweeping Ethiopia and a threat of civil war looming, it was more crucial than ever to facilitate their long-awaited aliya to Israel.

A new olah posing with her welcome present at a quarantine center in the north

Arriving in a new country is never easy, and to do so during a global pandemic adds even more stress and difficulty to the acclimation process. Participants from branches of Dror Israel’s youth movement around the country gathered during Hanukkah to assemble welcome packages for the new arrivals.

The youth learned about the story of the Ethiopian Jews and about the current operation helping them to make Aliyah. They thought about what they could do to welcome the families and help make the transition a little more cheerful during such complicated times. They especially thought about the experience of the children and came up with ideas for a welcome gift.

Teens in a youth movement branch in Lod preparing Welcome gifts

They wrote cards in Hebrew and Amharic, drew pictures and packed games and snacks as a welcome package for the families’ arrival. They packed over 500 packages to be delivered to the families as a gesture to welcome them home and to help make their arrival and acclimation to the country a bit brighter.