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[CLOSED] Operation Moses – 30 Years After

2014 marked 30 Years to “Operation Moses”, the Aliya of Ethiopian Jewry. The Museum of the Jewish People was the only institution that photographed and documented this Aliya and the absorption of Ethiopian Jewry in Israel during the period of 1984 – 1991. Doron Bacher, the Museum’s house photographer at the time, began photographing the Jews in Ethiopia in April 1984, six months before the commencement of “Operation Moses” and continued documenting their Aliya and absorption. The result – 10,000 stills and slides which enriched the museum’s archives.

The Museum of the Jewish People, together with photographer Doron Bacher and film director Orly Malessa, joined in preparing an exclusive and original exhibition that will examine what transpired to the community over the last 30 years. The exhibition’s perspective is not nostalgic and does not reflect the view of the Israelis, but rather reflects on those who personally experienced the immigration from Ethiopia. The exhibition is an opportunity to connect the past, as documented in the Museum’s archives, to the present and to the museum’s perception that everyone is part of “the Story”.

The media exhibition “Operation Moses: 30 Years After” presents the story of the absorption of Ethiopian individuals and families in Israel, from Operation Moses to the present. The exhibition provides the stage of relating the stories of ten families documented in the Museum of the Jewish People ‘s photos. It examines their lives from the time they were photographed until the present, using texts and short videos; referring to their struggles with displacement, emigration and absorption, and their reception by Israeli society.

The story in the exhibition is told from the perspective of those who personally experienced it all. The immigrants’ voices are heard from their vantage point. The exhibition reflects stories of the individuals who made their way to a new country, noting the lights and shadows of a long and complex process. Each story is accompanied by photographs, artifacts and a short film which in the interviewees are those who appear in the stills. They relate their personal accounts of what they experienced every step of the way from Ethiopia to Israel.

The curator of the exhibition, director and producer Orly Malessa, immigrated to Israel with her family in the framework of “Operation Moses”. Malessa holds a degree in Technological and Cultural Communications from Ben Gurion University. In 2011 Orly wrote her thesis on “Ehiopian Representation in Israeli Television Series”, for which she received an award of excellence. She produced and directed several feature films and documentaries.

Our Thanks:





Opened: May 2016

Film Director: Orly Malessa

Curators: Michal Houminer and Assaf Galai

Designers: Tucan Studio

Chief Curator of The Museum of the Jewish People: Dr. Orit Shaham-Gover