In 1969, North American Zionist activists began working to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel. They established the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ), which operated during 1970-1993. When it appeared that most of the Ethiopian Jews made aliya, AAEJ’s board of directors dissolved the organization. In 1994, a number of the former members of AAEJ established the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, the IAEJ.
At the outset, IAEJ advocated for the recognition of the rights of Ethiopian Israelis, through advocacy and legal support. Once additional organizations initiated activity for Ethiopian Israelis, the IAEJ began to focus on education, housing and employment, necessary anchors to ensure successful integration into Israeli society. IAEJ’s activities also include a variety of urgent matters that require its attention.
IAEJ has accumulated a wealth of experience in dealing with the challenges facing the communities, and has been a source of support for the organizations working to improve the integration of Ethiopian Israelis in society.