Ethiopian Jews and Conversion

Rabbi Dr. Don Seeman
Department of Religion
Emory University

Seeman presents the story of Ethiopian Jewry and the so-called “Falashmura” (Jews who converted or were forced to convert to Christianity). Seeman recounts the history of this distinct Jewish community from its first contact with world Jewry to its present day problems of conversion and bureaucracy in modern day Israel. Seeman shares his personal story of contact with Jews in Ethiopia and their day-to-day dilemmas of identity. Seeman conveys the ways in which the establishment in Israel has tried to cope with these problems and the cultural and emotional reactions that this community has had to these solutions.