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HEROES: The Untold Stories Of The Jewish-Ethiopian Aliyah

Sunday, April 30 | 5:00-6:15PM | 89th Street Community House 

Join us for a special screening of excerpts from the work-in-progress documentary, HEROES. This feature film explores the experiences of the real-life heroes involved in the Jewish-Ethiopian aliyah to Israel. After the screening, there will be a Q&A featuring co-director Avishai Yeganyahu Mekonen and activists who were directly involved in the aliyah efforts. Visit the film’s webpage and sign up here to attend.

HEROES is a documentary film that follows the story of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) throughout their journey from Ethiopia to Israel, as they take great risks to save their families and community from likely obliteration under Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. These heroic men and women went to jail for asserting their right to be Jewish. They made escape plans, hid in hostile refugee camps, faced danger, hardship, and torture, and in many cases, gave their lives. Nonetheless, they refused to give up.

The film’s three-act structure follows focuses on the activism and historical events of the 1970s-1990s while touching on prior historical events and ending with a look at current-day Ethiopian activists in Israel. The goal of this film is to shed light on this decades-long fight for justice from the perspective of African refugees, who are both underrepresented and misrepresented in the dominant mass media, and to portray them not as helpless victims but as a community who overcame great odds.
To learn more about the premise for the movie read an interview with the director, Avishai Mekonen, here.