Ethiopian Jewish ethnicity - top countries
Order MyHeritage DNA kit
Uncover your ethnic origins and find new relatives with our simple DNA test.
Ethiopian Jewish ethnicity
The Beta Israel is a distinct Jewish group that originates in modern-day Ethiopia. The community traces its history back to the Kingdom of Aksum and the Ethiopian Empire, but in more recent times has lived in the regions of Amhara and Tigray. The majority of Ethiopian Jews have since emigrated to Israel. Traditional accounts of the origins of the Ethiopian Jews variously place them as descendants of the Biblical Tribe of Dan, or the offspring of a union between King Solomon of Israel and the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba. The community has been practicing a unique form of Judaism for approximately two millennia, including adherence to strict dietary laws, observance of the Sabbath, a priestly tradition, and veneration of scripture in the ancient Ge’ez language. In recent years, the community has been integrating into modern Israeli society. In 1991, Operation Solomon evacuated 14,325 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, setting a world record of the greatest number of passengers ever carried by a single airplane (1,122).