Background: Who are the Ethiopian Jews?
Ethiopian Jews are known at the Beta Israel, or House of Israel. There are several theories as to their origins:
- They are descendants of the lost tribe of Dan.
- They are descendants of Menelik, the son of King Solomon and Queen of Sheeba.
- Jews living in Egypt migrated to Ethiopia in the 5th-7th centuries BCE.
- In the 2nd-3rd centuries BCE, there was contact either through trade or war with the Jews of Southern Arabia.
While there was a small number of Beta Israel professionals living in urban areas, the vast majority of the Beta Israel were from mountainous villages in northern Ethiopia.