Dear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister Aryeh Deri,

These are the faces of hope. These are the faces of longing. These are the faces of Jewish daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who have not seen their loved ones in five, 10 or 20 years.  These are the faces that represent an entire community that sings Am Yisrael Chai and Hatikva twice each day after prayer services, seven days a week, 365 days per year.

Tonight, the last aliyah flight from Ethiopia that your government has approved will arrive.  Families will reunite after over a decade of being separated.  But what about the 8,000 remaining Jews who are still waiting in Ethiopia?  How much longer must a grandmother wait to meet her first grandchild, who took her first steps two weeks ago?  How much longer will a son wait to show his father his paratrooper’s beret?  How many more fathers will not be able to walk their daughter down the aisle at her wedding?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister Aryeh Deri, Jews don’t leave other Jews behind.

These are the faces of the Jews left behind.

Child in Hatikva Synagogue, Gondar (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Prayer services in Hatikva Synagogue. Community members gather each day for morning, afternoon and evening prayers.  Approximately 5,000 Jews remain in Gondar and 3,000 in Addis Ababa. (Lior Sperandeo)

Father and son in Hatikva Synagogue (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Teen in Hatikva Synagogue (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Child learning with volunteers from Israel in the Hatikva Synagogue (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

The children meticulously write down every word in their notebooks during Hebrew lessons in the Hatikva Synagogue (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Man in his thoughts in the Hatikva Synagogue (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Awajo, a counselor in the Hatikva summer camp, flashes a smile. Awajo lives with his aunt and grandmother in Gondar. His mother passed away and his father moved to Israel after the Ministry of Interior approved his aliyah.  (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

A child in the Hatikva summer camp, during a quiet moment (Zachi Hefez/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

A woman sits outside the Hatikva Synagogue (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Baking matzahs or unleavened bread ahead of the Passover holiday in the Hatikva Synagogue.  The community members in Gondar spend days preparing 50,000 hand-baked matzahs for the 3,000 person seder.  (Lior Sperandeo)

Ermias Gebre, the head counselor of the Gondar chapter of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, poses alongside an Israeli flag. “I will die for Israel,” says Ermias. (Ermias Gebre/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Prayer services in the Hatikva Synagogue (Lior Sperandeo)

A teen shows off a greeting card she made ahead of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (The Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

Children taking part in activities in the Hatikva summer camp. The children start the morning singing Hebrew songs. (The Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

The face of hope (Eden David/the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry)

For further information or to get involved in the Struggle for Ethiopian Jewry contact iamalisab@gmail.com