Operation Exodus: New Israeli Hope

Naftali Aklum

Operation Exodus: New Israeli Hope picture

Hope was all Naftali Aklum's older brother Ferede had when he left Ethiopia and trekked through perilous deserts to reach Sudan. There he wrote a letter that eventually reached Prime Minister Menachem Begin, setting in motion the secret 1984 airlift of 8,000 Ethiopian Jes -- Operation Moses.

Join us as Naftali Aklum, founder of the Yerus Project in Beersheva, speaks to us from Israel to describe his family's involvement with Operation Moses, and his ancient community's remarkable journey from the remote mountains of Gondar, Ethiopia, to modern Israel. There are now more than 140,000 Ethiopian-origin Jews within Israel's cultural, ethnic, and religious mosaic. What do they hope for, as some have achieved financial success and prominence, while others remain stuck in poverty, and struggle to overcome the obstacles of ethnic prejudice? Aklum founded the Yerus Project to share the cultural contributions of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, "to contribute to a pluralistic Jewish society that views its communal diversity as a source of strength."