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Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Jewish School To Be Built In Ethiopia

(Image: Falash Mura children learning Hebrew in the Gondar compound, Credit: Uriel Heilman of

With the Israeli government winding down the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jews, a new organization called the United Jewish Communities federation (or UJC) is raising money to construct a Jewish school in the city of Gondar, Ethiopia.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) The school project is being undertaken by the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ), which funds aid operations in Ethiopia for the Falash Mura -- Ethiopians who claim links to descendents of Jews either by lineage or by marriage -- and has campaigned

"We're happy to have raised this issue, convened the federations and facilitated their support of this project," said Jim Lodge, UJC's vice president for Israel and overseas affairs. "Much of that money has been offered by federations, and we're in the process of getting that money to NACOEJ."

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the group has raised $350,000 to construct the school, which should help out Ethiopian Jews unable to make Aliyah to Israel.

Ethiopian Jews have been seeking ways to visit their homeland after centuries of exile. Hopefully the school will aid those left behind in the nation, as well as help improve their lives economically, if not spiritually.

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