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The Ethiopian Jews of Israel: Personal Stories of Life in the Promised Land Hardcover – February 2, 2007

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Beta Israel (house of Israel) is the term by which Ethiopian Jews refer to themselves. Between 1977 and 1993, more than 100,000 of them were brought to Israel, leaving no Beta Israel community in Ethiopia today. Lyons indicates that he has presented their story as much as possible from their own perspective and includes their accomplishments as well as their struggles to function as equal participants in Israeli society. The conversations recorded here took place between spring 2004 and winter 2006 and are organized into eight chapters or themes. The 50 men and women interviewed include soldiers, students, religious leaders, actors, musicians, and a member of the Knesset. There are striking color photographs by Illan Ossendryver on almost every page and a foreword by Alan Dershowitz. Lyons, the author of six books, gives readers a well-balanced and discerning account of these people. George Cohen
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Pub (February 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580233236
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580233231
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gerry Gilstrop on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book which shows some of the heterogeneity which exists in Israel!!! Having lived & visited Israel over 8 times in the last 20 years, I am very familiar with this group in Israel, and other ethnic groups (Jewish & non-Jewish) which make Israel their home.

Not withstanding the semi-psychotic & libelous rant against the Beta-Yisrael by one of the earlier reviewers(who shows himself to also be ignorant of the emic & etic cultural & religious anthropology of the Beta-Yisrael), this book accurately & with great respect tries to impart basic knowledge of the Beta Yisrael on a personal level to readers generally unfamiliar with this segment of the Israeli public.

As a photographic biography, I feel that its style should be replicated in additional books by the author in my opinion. I for one would like to see similar books covering the various ethnic groups of Israel such as Yemenite Jews, Iraqi Jews, Syrian Jews,Druze, Circassians, and Israeli Arabs, as well as others.

I for one am very happy that this book has been published, since at present there are many people in the world who sadly & mistakenly enough only perceive of Israel as an apartheid war mongering state, rather than the multi-ethnic (Jewishly & non-Jewishly) & multi-religious (just ask the Israeli Jews, Druze, Circassians, Beduoin, and Israeli Arabs) state which actually exists.

Sure there are problems of various sorts in Israel. But in Israel there are also very promising peoples, technologies, and inventions (Pentium chips were designed & created there, CAT scan technology originated there, etc) there, just as there are both problems & promise in North America, Europe, and other many other global locales.

In short, I love the focus of this book on one fascinating & particularly noble group of people who have decided to make Israel a daily part of their lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Profusely illustrated with the full color photography of Ilan Ossendryver and featuring an informative foreword by Alan M. Dershowitz, "The Ethiopian Jews Of Israel: Personal Stories of Life In The Promised Land" by Len Lyons reveals through candid interviews and personal accounts the struggles and accomplishments of Ethiopian Jews who migrated to Israel and became Ethiopian Israelis. Among the more than fifty men and women included in this fascinating account are religious leaders, soldiers, lawyers, students, actors, musicians, and even a member of the Israeli Knesset. Each succinct biographical synopsis is illustrated with a full page photographic portrait. "The Ethiopian Jews Of Israel" is an impressive and welcome treatise that is enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library Judaic Studies and Israeli Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Werner Cohn on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A pleasant volume about Ethiopian Jews in Israel. The pictures are certainly nice to look at; the appended potted texts rarely stray from the superficial. I find the Selected Bibliography unreliable; it does list the most important books on the subject, but it also recommends materials of questionable value.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow,---,good book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen Allen on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great service. I purchased the book used and there was a tear on the cover but that was all. Nothing really a little tape couldn't fix, but over all the service and arrival of the book was very fast.
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