A few dozen Ethiopians on Sunday protested in Jerusalem for not being able to join their families for the holiday.
The immigrants displayed a Passover Seder table in front of the Prime Minister's Office, on which they placed pictures of their family members – some of which have been waiting to make aliyah for many years. Next to the pictures, the immigrants placed bowls of Maror (bitter herbs) to symbolize the hardship they have experienced because of the long distance between them and their families.
Dr. Avraham Nagosa, who spearheads the campaign for Ethiopian aliyah said that "especially during preparations for the holiday, we came here to be reminded that the joy is not complete."
Ethiopian immigrants with family pictures (Photo: Guy Asayag)
According to Nagosa, "There are families that won't get to celebrate together during the Seder; mothers whose children were left abroad and children whose mothers and fathers are in Ethiopia. This is all because of the government's refusal to let Jews immigrate to Israel.
"We will not rest until our brothers and the rest of Ethiopian Jews make aliyah," Nagosa added.
In recent months, some 900 Ethiopians immigrated to Israel but there are still some 8,000 Jews waiting to make aliyah from Gundar in northern Ethiopia.
Sixteen-year-old Salmon Ratu who participated in the protest, said he envies other children that celebrate Passover with their uncles and grandparents. "I am very sensitive to this. I need to explain to my friends that the Seder in our house is small because we still have many family members in Ethiopia," Ratu said.