Ethiopian Jewish Migrants into Israel


  • Jasmine Gaytan


With the influx of Jewish migrants into Israel from all over the world, Israel has become a settler society for persons of Jewish origin. According to the PEW Research Center, as of 2010, 3 million Jewish migrants have ended up in Israel. Additionally, in 2021, The Jewish Agency for Israel helped 28,601 Jewish immigrants enter Israel, marking a 31% increase compared to 2020. Through a sociological perspective on religious migration and identity, this paper intends to discuss the Ethiopian Jewish migration processes into Israel. According to the Migration Data Portal, Israel is a top country for Ethiopian migrant destinations, with 78,000 Ethiopian immigrants in 2020. By analyzing how religion and identity can motivate migration, this paper intends to discuss the structures that facilitate Ethiopian Jewish migration into Israel. Previous research has shown that heterogeneity within the country of origin has influenced Ethiopian migration. Also, with limited microdata analysis involving individual Ethiopian demographic characteristics, large-scale data shows migration trends for Ethiopian migrants. More so, research has shown there is growing religious intolerance that Ethiopian Jewish migrants have endured in their country of origin and how cultural differences have created challenges for Ethiopian Jewish migrants in Israel. Lastly, the population in the movement defines themselves both in the sending and receiving country as Ethiopian Jewish migrants. The Ethiopian Jewish identity is shaped by religious and racial intolerance both in the sending and receiving countries. Finally, this paper aims to explore the motivations and challenges of Ethiopian Jewish migration to Israel as it is essential to understand historical and contemporary issues surrounding departure, transit, and arrival conditions for Ethiopian Jewish migration into Israel. Recommendations to improve conditions and human rights can be inferred.