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Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia



The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a landlocked country in northeast Africa, known for much of its history as Abyssinia. Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world, its roots lying deep in history. In 1936, Italy attacked and conquered the independent Empire of Abyssinia (or Ethiopia, as it preferred to be called) and incorporated it into Italian East Africa (which also included Eritrea and Italian Somaliland). During World War II, it was liberated by British and Ethiopian forces in 1941, whereupon the Empire of Ethiopia once again became a sovereign state. From 1951, Ethiopia was federated with Eritrea until 1962, when it incorporated Eritrea as a province. In 1974, the emperor was overthrown and a communist republic was declared which in 1987 adopted the name of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In 1991, the communist regime was overthrown, following which Eritrea was granted independence in 1993 and, in 1995, the country adopted a new federal constitution under the name of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Its capital is Addis Ababa.




Nearly 90% of Ethiopia's Jewish community, known as the Beta Israel (a term preferred to the name Falasha, which is considered pejorative), comprising more than 120,000 people, have now emigrated to Israel. However, many Falasha Mura, descendants of Beta Israel who had converted to Christianity, remain in Ethiopia but are seeking the right to emigrate to Israel.

Website of "Jewish Ethiopia" [2000]

Judaic Traditions in Ethiopian Village by Karen B. Hoffman.

BOOK:  Schur, Maxine Rose . Day of Delight; A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia. Dial Books for Young Readers; ISBN: 0803714149. October 1994. Fiction for children. [September 2002]

The History of Ethiopian Jews. [August 2009]


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