Join fellow ROIers in Ethiopia, a vast country that was once home to various members of our Community. This journey is crafted by ROIers, for ROIers.

Discover the incredible story of Beta Israel, a unique community with a magnificent heritage. Learn from individuals who lived in the villages and from those who extensively researched Ethiopian Jewry and their journey to Israel.

Applications closed on December 2, 2018. Status updates will be sent to applicants around mid-December, stay tuned! For inquiries about an existing application, contact Elissa, ROI Community Manager. 

Delegation dates: 4-11 March, 2019

Children of Beta Israel used to gather around village bonfires, eagerly consuming lessons from the Torah and listening to stories about Jerusalem, a city made entirely of gold, in a land overflowing with goodness. Up until the establishment of modern-day Israel, Beta Israel was the only independent Jewish kingdom following the destruction of the Temple.

On your journey to Ethiopia, you will explore the sites that shaped the identity of Ethiopian Jews and learn about key community figures from today’s leaders, including a kes (priest) and a rabbi who will accompany the group; experience a Shabbat with families in a village, plus help lead activities for the children; hear first-hand about Aliyah through Operations Moses and Solomon; taste unique cuisine; enjoy and dance to Ethiopian music; view mesmerizing landscapes and textiles; discover the rich history of the only country in Africa never to have been ruled by a foreign power.

This program was initiated by ROI Community member and Schusterman Fellow Tali Tadela Ysia, who was born in Ethiopia and made the long journey from Ethiopia, through Sudan to Israel when she was four years old. This is her first time going back. ​

Tali is joined by fellow ROIer organizers Ester BisawerLior BenistyNoa Margalit and Tomer Naor – click on each to read their ROI profiles.

Read the sections below for delegation highlights and logistic information, including costs.

Delegation Highlights
  • The delegation will begin in Addis Ababa and continue to Bahir Dar and Gondar to learn about the Jewish communities – Beta Israel, and those who were referred to as Falash Mura
  • You will discover Aksum, which was the ancient capital of Ethiopia, and the location where Jewish presence stemmed back more than 1,000 years
  • The journey will conclude back in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia’s breathtaking nature, its glorious and rich history, and the fascinating present reality, will provide a colorful backdrop to conversations that are designed to have far-reaching impact on participants, their work, their families and their communities.

Delegation Goals
  • Reveal and deepen participants’ knowledge of and connection to Ethiopian Jewry, its values ​​and heritage
  • Bolster participants' understanding of the relevance of Ethiopian Jewish heritage to contemporary Jewish and Israeli discourse
  • Build a positive dialogue about identity
  • Jumpstart participant-led initiatives that draw inspiration directly from the journey
Eligibility Details

Apply for this delegation if you are an ROI member who:

  • Takes an active role in creating positive social change
  • Deals with issues of identity in your work and/or is involved in Tikkun Olam efforts
  • Is heavily involved in community-building work, be it with the Ethiopian community or otherwise
  • Is eager to learn from this experience, contribute to it, and then do something with it!
Participation Fee

Participation fee: $990 (This delegation has been generously subsidized by ROI Community)

Includes:

  • Domestic flights and local transportation within Ethiopia
  • Vegetarian meals (vegan/kosher on request)
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Site visits, briefings, tours, etc.

*The participation fee does not include international airfare or personal travel insurance or tips. Participants are fully responsible for covering these. While the participation fee cannot be subsidized by an ROI Micro Grant, members are eligible to apply for a grant to subsidize international travel.