(JNS.org) Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky handed Getnet Amare,the mayor of Gondar, Ethiopia, the keys to the school that had prepared thousands of Jewish Ethiopian children for their subsequent
immigration to Israel through education in math, physics, computers and English.
Gondar, Ethiopia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
In a ceremony on Monday, the
Jewish Agency donated all the school buildings and equipment to the city. “Jews
lived in Gondar for 2,500 years. However, their longing to return home never
weakened,” Sharansky said at the ceremony marking the conclusion of the Jewish Agency-led Operation
Wings of a Dove. Through the operation, launched in 2010, Israel absorbed more about 7,000
people in Ethiopia, the Falash Mura, whose ancestors were Jewish but were
forced to convert to Christianity.
“For us it is very symbolic that the Jewish
community here is leaving behind a place of study. It’s a promise we make
all the countries from which Jews emigrate: that we will leave behind a school
for their local community’s children,” Sharansky said.
The final flight of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel will arrive in the Jewish state on Aug. 28 with 400 immigrants.