JERUSALEM (JTA) – A family of Ethiopian teenagers who received status as a resident in Israel arrived in Israel after participating in an international Bible quiz.
The 18-year-old Sintayehu Shafrao, who arrived on Tuesday night, is the only Ethiopian family to be allowed to emigrate to Israel this year.
Shafrao reunited again with his mother, three sisters and nephews. They went to a rented apartment in Kibutsu Kiriat Menachem. There are other brothers and sisters who have already lived in Israel.
The heart of Israel pays for family flights and initial expenses, which have collected money to support this work mainly from Christian Zionists.
In April, Shafrao was ordered to deposit thousands of dollars to participate in the final stages of the Bible competition to guarantee that he would leave when it was over. Later, however, the teenager was granted permanent residence in the country.
After arriving in Israel, Shafrao met with Israeli lawmakers and government ministers, including Justice Minister Aielet Shaked. During the meetings, he pleaded that lawmakers would bring the rest of Ethiopia to Israel as soon as possible.
In Ethiopia there are about 8,000 Falash Muras waiting for permission to emigrate to Israel, most of which have family members in Israel.
Falash Mura claims that they are related to the descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity under pressure, but now they want to return to Judaism. They must obtain a special permit to emigrate to Israel because of their uncertain Jewish status.
A post of the Ethiopian tycoon who participated in the Bible competition comes to Israel first appeared at the Jewish Telegraph Agency.