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Yerusalem, The Incredible Story of Ethiopian Jewry

  • Israel
  • Documentary
  • 2021
  • 90 / 5X50 min.
  • Director(s): Levi Zini
  • Producer(s): Doc Films


“Yerusalem, a new feature documentary (based on the Israeli documentary series) brings to life the story of a long, dramatic and tumultuous journey as the Jewish Ethiopian community, also known as “Beta-Israel”, finally find their way back to the heart of the Jewish people after centuries – Jerusalem.
“Yerusalem” is the story of an isolated Jewish tribe who kept its faith for thousands of years even though they lived in a hostile Christian environment. This is the story of ancient Jewish traditions, of heroic actions and daring covert operations. But mainly, this is the story of a powerful religious yearning that has been passed down from father to son for countless generations. A desire for a “Yerusalem” tied with gold threads.
“Exodus of the Black Jews”‘, “Rescue of the Lost Tribe” cried out international news headlines in January 1985 when the airlift known as “Operation Moses” was revealed. In one of several clandestine operations in the Ethiopian Exodus, Israeli Mossad, the US administration and world Jewry collaborated to rescue thousands of Ethiopian Jews from the hellhole refugee camps in Sudan. The London Times wrote: “The airlift was in its way as inspiring a story as the Biblical Exodus”.

“Yerusalem” is the complex story of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel bringing the stories of the first and second generation of immigrants, rabbinical cases, Aliyah activists, Mossad personnel, ship commanders and pilots, decision-makers and many others who risked their lives to bring Ethiopian Jews to their ancestral land. Here they were required to prove their Jewishness and fight for their legitimate place in Israeli society.

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Levi Zini


Doc Films


French, Spanish, Czech

Supported by

KAN, Gesher Multi Cultiral Fund, Avi Chai Foundation

Festival Highlights

Stowe Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2022

Shalom Europa, France, 2022

Montreal Israeli Film Festival, Canada, 2022

World Zionist Organization- With Maharata Baruch, Canada, 2021

Rutgers Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2021

Milwaukee Jewish Federation, USA, 2021

Houston Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2021

Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival, Hong Kong, 2021

Africa in Motion, UK, 2021

Religion Today Film Festival, Italy, 2021

JNF Australia, Australia, 2021

Washington Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2021

Calgary Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2021

JNF Canada- with Maharata Baruch, Canada, 2021

Concordia University, Canada, 2021

Chicago Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2021

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2021

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  • " Yerusalem [is] a beautifully constructed and fascinating documentary. The film covered the history of the Ethiopian Jewish community as well as their struggle both to join their brethren in Israel and once there, to then adapt and be fully accepted by a more modernized culture without having to sacrifice meaningful parts of the community’s age-old practices. The filmmakers did an amazing job of not only offering a comprehensive and absorbing look at the community’s triumphs and challenges but was able to offer new details of their decade's-long saga while conveying the complex subject matter with emotion, suspense and humor."
    - Sholom Twersky, audience at LSS