Falasha Jews in Ethiopia

er... they are. the problem is that their separation from mainstream judaism predates the classical period of normalisation around rabbinic judaism, so there were some problems in reintegrating them into the mainstream when the state of israel rescued them. some of the religious establishment tried to demand that they be formally converted, but eventually they were forced to back down. they are now beginning to be integrated into israeli society (with varying degrees of success due to racism and other factors) but give it time. they only arrived very recently.


there have been periodic contacts through the yemeni and adeni communities over the years - in fact, one of my own great-great-great-great grandmothers was ethiopian and that doesn't seem to have been controversial.

btw, "falasha" is *not* a polite word. they are properly referred to as "beta israel" or "ethiopian jews".


There is a community in Ethiopia that claims to have the ark of the covenant. It can not be seen by the general public, only high priests. I was told they practice a sort of quasi judaism/christianity there.
Great link, Dauer. Especially liked the article on the Ark (loved how they mentioned the Kebra Nagast).

One of the Abayudaya came to my parent's shul to speak. But in their case they converted so as far as history it's not something that goes back far. But Kulanu has quite a bit of info on them:


I think the most intriguing group related to Judaism in Africa is the Lemba. I think it's a very important piece of the puzzle also for understanding the Ethiopian Jews. The story of the Lemba is quite remarkable:


Kulanu is a great resource for lost Jewish communities and world Jewish communities. They even have info on the ancient Jews of Japan.