The AAEJ Archives Online is a collection of documents, articles, reports, photos and videos from former members of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (the AAEJ), an organization that closed in 1993 after completing its mission: to fulfill the request of the Beta Israel community of helping them go to Israel.    While the Israeli airlifts - Operation Moses in 1984 (and "Joshua") and Operation Solomon in 1991 - were life-saving, amazing feats, the story of the aliyah of the Ethiopian Jewish community begins with the activism and determination of Ethiopian Jews themselves, and the long, persistent, 25-year support of the AAEJ.   From 1969 through 1993, the AAEJ worked directly in Sudan and Ethiopia, bringing relief supplies and support to the community and arranging for Jews to leave via Sudan and Ethiopia by quasi-legal means, falsified documents or smuggling them across borders.   All of these efforts were planned by and implemented by Ethiopian Jews themselves - the leaders and heroes of the aliyah of the Beta Israel - and the American activists with whom they worked.
On this website, and its links to Google Photos and FilesAnywhere, you can access original source documents, reports, faxes, articles and photographs, that document the story of Ethiopian Jewish heroes and the Americans who helped them realize their two-thousand-year-old dream to return to Jerusalem and Zion.    These records and photos demonstrate the immense efforts of many Beta Israel who sacrified their personal lives to help their community, and the hug
e output of work by AAEJ activists both in supporting the community and in lobbying the U.S. and Israeli governments to do more.  AAEJ American and Beta Israel activists made many trips throughout he U.S. from 1973 to 1991 to plead for the government and the organized Jewish community to take action (see photo on right of Baruch Tegegne marching down Wall Street, NYC). AAEJ political advocacy efforts helped obtain the release of Beta Israel from Sudan and Ethiopia and were instrumental in organizing the airlifts, as well as witnessing the end of the Marxist military regime in Ethiopia in 1991. 

From the beginning and in the end, the heroes of the Beta Israel aliyah are the Ethiopian Jews who walked to Sudan, who took the risks, devised the plans, came illegally down from Gondar to Addis, went to jail for the right to be Jewish, who refused to give up and - in many cases - gave their lives.    We salute them and honor them.   May their strength and the memories of what they did be a source of strength and blessing to us all.
Please go to the Photos page and the Documents Page for instructions on how to use this Archive.  This is an interactive website.  We want you to help identify people and places in the photographs, and let the world know who they are.  Post your comments!   Your input will help make this an accurate archive that records the true history of the Ethiopian Jewish people

VISIT OFTEN!  The AAEJ Archives Online is constantly expanding as more photos and documents are added every month.

Documents and photos are copyright by AAEJ Archives Online, a project of Friends of Ethiopian Jews (FEJ).   All rights are reserved.   Documents and photos may be used only for educational or non-profit purposes, and permission for use must be obtained prior to use.   Please click here to email FEJ to request permission to use any documents or photos.

If you've used the archives and viewed photos and documents, we'd like your feedback! Please click here to fill out our Feedback Form. Thank you!