Relief and Rescue for Ethiopian Jews

Our Reform Movement has been at the forefront of the North American Jewish community in mobilizing efforts for Ethiopian Jewish relief both through "Project REAP" and "Operation Moses." During the past year, we have joyously witnessed the return to Israel of a large portion of the Ethiopian Jewish community through "Operation Moses," and we applaud the continuing efforts to absorb them into the mainstream of Israeli life.

Nonetheless, we must remain mindful of the thousands of Ethiopian Jews, many of whom are very old, very young, or very sick, who still wait for their moment to return to our people's ancient homeland.

We also must remain concerned with the plight of our Ethiopian brethren and their need to establish themselves in Israel with dignity. That need makes a special claim upon Reform Judaism's central concern for social justice.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:

  1. Pledges its continuing support and involvement in the efforts to insure the welfare and the rescue of all Ethiopian Jews.
  2. Calls on our member congregations and affiliates to initiate or continue programs, educational and financial, for continuing Ethiopian Jewish rescue and relief and for the integration of Ethiopian Jews into Israeli society; and to work with the governments of Israel, the United States, and Canada, the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, the American Association for Ethiopian Jews, the North American Conference for Ethiopian Jews, and the Canadian Association for Ethiopian Jews for the purpose of hastening the rescue efforts and the resettlement of Ethiopian Jews with dignity.
  3. Condemns the attempts to require Ethiopian Jews to submit to ritual immersion or circumcision in order to authenticate their Jewish status.
  4. Commends Progressive Jewish organizations for their efforts to integrate Ethiopian Jews into Israeli society and calls upon our congregations and affiliates to support those efforts.