FIRST ETHIOPIAN JEW IN KNESSET SHARES STORY, INSIGHTS

On Sept. 10, current Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knessett Shlomo Molla visited and spoke at The Davis Academy.

Just the second Ethiopian Jew to be a member of the Knesset and the very first Ethiopian Jew to ever hold the position of Deputy Speaker, Molla told Davis middle school students, faculty and parents the very dramatic and inspiring story of his early life as part of a Jewish family in Ethiopia and his decision to leave and set out on foot to Israel when he was just 16.

He and his group suffered many hardships; in Sudan, he and others were accused of spying and spent time in prison, but in 1984, they were rescued by Israeli Commandos from a refugee camp in Sudan and finally brought to Israel.

Molla became a member of the Knesset in 2008 and was voted Deputy Speaker in August 2011. As part of his appearance at Davis, he also spoke about the importance of diaspora Jews supporting Israel and the concern Israel has regarding the Iranian threat and later answered student’s questions.

Israeli Knesset Shlomo Molla speaks to Davis Academy students on Sept. 10.
PHOTO/courtesy Fran Putney