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11-Nov-2019 19:31

Outsiders have often referred to the Ethiopian Jews as Falasha, meaning "moved" or "gone into exile" in the ancient Ge'ez language.Today their community considers the term derogatory and prefers instead Beta Israel, a Hebrew term for "House of Israel." Although the origins of Judaism in Ethiopia remain a mystery, it is likely that the community's roots extend 2500 years.Once you’ve converted you’re a full fledged Jews and eligible to marry within the tribe.The one exception is that you can’t marry a Cohen — which is a descendant of the ancient priestly class that used to minister in the Temple in Jerusalem. Many of them have last names that include the words Cohen, Katz, Kagan …Positive relations between Israel and Ethiopia existed until 1973, when, in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, Ethiopia (and 28 African nations) broke diplomatic relations with Israel under the threat of an Arab oil embargo.Since the 1980s the vast majority of Ethiopian Jews have migrated to Israel.Selassie returned to power in 1941, but the situation for the Beta Israel improved little.

For example, if you converted in the reform movement you might not be considered Jewish by Orthodox Jews.

Little additional contact was made with the community, but in 1935 their stability was greatly threatened as the Italian army marched into Ethiopia.

Ethiopia's ruler, Emperor Haile Selassie fled his country and actually took refuge in Jerusalem for a short time.

There are Jews of all different colors from all parts of the globe.

If you stroll through practically any Israeli city you’ll come across Jews that are black (usually Ethiopian), Asian, Indian, Arab and yes, Caucasian.

but the only way you’ll really know is if you ask or they tell.