The Addis Family: Reunited at Last
For more than 50 years, The Jewish Agency for Israel – with the support of Jewish Cleveland – has assisted over 95,000 Ethiopian Jews in their journey to Israel. With the launch of Operation Zur Israel in 2020, Ethiopian families were reunited in Israel after more than a decade of separation. Your support of the Federation’s annual Campaign for Jewish Needs makes these incredible Aliyah operations and reunions possible.
Yaliganesh Addis moved to Gondar, Ethiopia, with her parents and seven siblings to wait for approval from the Israeli government to make Aliyah. After a decade, the approvals started coming and many of the Addises were able to make Aliyah. Soon all the Addises had been able to move to Israel except Yaliganesh. She was left behind, along with her husband and children in Ethiopia, to continue waiting.
In November 2020, the Israeli Government finally approved Yaliganesh and her family’s Aliyah application, through Operation Zur Israel, which is reuniting Ethiopian families after many years of separation. She was overjoyed to learn she would soon get to see the rest of the Addises again and be reunited in Israel.
“I have been longing for this moment for 10 years,” said Kefale Addis, Yaliganesh’s little brother, before Yaliganesh’s arrival in Israel. “We never thought we would be separated and that Yaliganesh would be left to suffer in Ethiopia alone all this time.”
Yaliganesh Addis’ decade-long wait to see her family again ended when she, her husband and children landed in Israel on the first flight of Operation Zur Israel in December 2020. After two weeks of quarantine, the Addises were able to come together in an emotional and much-anticipated reunion. “I’m so happy to hug my mother, see my family again,” said Yaliganesh. “It’s like I am dreaming.”
Meet the Addis Family and Watch their Reunion: