UNION COLLEGE, NEW YORK — Shlomo Molla, the sole Ethiopian Jewish member of the Israeli Knesset, will speak at Union College on Sunday, April 19, at 11:30 AM in the Nott Memorial.
Molla will discuss his rise to international power against considerable odds, the state of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel today and his visions for the future of his people.
Molla became a member of the Israeli Parliament affiliated with the Kadima party in February 2008. He retained his seat in the 2009 elections.
One of 11 children, he was born in a small rural Jewish village in Ethiopia’s Gondar province, where neighboring non-Jews believed that the Jews were “devils who had tails” and bullied them. Molla’s father, the village judge, farmed a small plot of land. Their home had no electricity or running water but Molla was religious, studying Torah on a daily basis while yearning to be in Jerusalem.
Molla attended a Jewish high school run by the American Joint Distribution Committee. In 1983, at 16, he learned that Jews from the Tigre province, 700 kilometers away, were being taken, in secret, to Israel via Sudan.
He departed with 15 friends on a terrifying journey to Israel, where he was taken to an absorption center in Tzfat. He attended high school in Haifa and became an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces. He later graduated from the Bar Ilan University School of Social Work and obtained an LLB degree from Ono Academic College.
In 1991, Mossa volunteered with the Jewish Agency during Operation Solomon. He also served as director of the Tiberius Absorption Center, supervisor for the Absorption Centers and Ulpanim in the northern kibbutzim and director for the Unit for Ethiopian Immigration and Absorption for the Jewish Agency.
Mossa is married and has three children. The family lives in Rishon Letzion.
Sunday’s event is sponsored by Hillel, the President’s Office, AEPi and the departments of History, Political Science and Sociology.
Tag: Ethiopian News