Loading Events


Sixth & I

From Tesfa to Tikvah: From Hope to Hope

Images of Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Oct 8, 2010 • 9:00 am ET
  • This event has passed.

Since 1991, photojournalist Irene Fertik has been working on a book project documenting the absorption of Ethiopian Jews in their new/old homeland of Israel. The title, From Tesfa to Tikva, incorporates the word “hope” in both Amharic and Hebrew. Most Ethiopian Israelis immigrated less than thirty years ago, moving from small, isolated mountain villages to modern technological society. Today, Israel’s nearly 120,000 Ethiopians are still in a transitional period, where old ways continue to be practiced, but are making way for the new.

Through photos and text, Fertik tells the story of these early years of change through the contrast of an ancient African people in a mostly white modern society. Most families live below the poverty line, yet there are over 2,400 Ethiopian students in higher education studies, 100 Ethiopian small businesses, and 24 Ethiopian rabbis have been ordained. These graceful, reserved people are enduring from tesfa to tikva.