Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom, the founding Director of Ono’s International Center for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry, the world’s first institution of its kind, will present at a program organized by Boston’s CJP honors the 4,000 Ethiopian Jews, known as the Beta Israel, who died during this mass immigration. Other speakers include: award-winning news reporter Branu Tegene and singer Ayala Ingedashet, the first Ethiopian-born Israeli singer to get a major-label deal.
Rabbi Dr. Sharon is an author and lecturer with a broad education in philosophy and theology. Rabbi Shalom is a captain in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves and immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia on his own at the age of 9. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Bar Ilan University’s Department of Jewish Philosophy and wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Judaism of Fate: Theology and Religious Practice in the Beta Israel Community.” He is a senior lecturer at Ono Academic College and serves as the rabbi of the Kdoshei Israel community in Kiryat Gat. In 2012, Rabbi Shalom published his book, “From Sinai to Ethiopia: The Halachic World and Ethiopian Jewish Thought,” which was translated into English. In addition, he is involved in writing curriculum on the topic of Ethiopian Jewry and its culture for Jewish educational institutions in the United States.
Ayala Ingedashet performing in the video “Flesh & Blood” (Promotional still courtesy: jewishboston.com)