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Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew

Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew is a mini-documentary that follows the personal journey of Mekonen Abebe, a young African immigrant to Israel, as he returns to Ethiopia to explore his roots, make peace with his past and embrace his future in Israel.

On a broader level, the film is about the integration process Ethiopian Jews experience in Israel’s multi-cultural society, especially through the Israel Defense Force (IDF), referred to as the “social equalizer of Israeli culture.” Many Westerners are not aware that Ethiopian Jews exist, let alone serve in the Israeli army and integrate into Israeli society.

Mekonen’s personal story, as he rises through the ranks of the IDF to become a commander, will serve as a source of inspiration, letting others know that no matter where you come from, with the right tools you can succeed.

Lesson Goals

  • Share an inspiring immigrant story with a universal message of triumph over adversity.
  • Explore the integration of Ethiopian Jews into Israel’s multi-cultural society, specifically through the Israel Defense Forces—the social equalizer of Israeli culture.
  • Educate about the Ethiopian Jewish community, their history and process of integration into Israeli society.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will express their knowledge of Israel’s multicultural society.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of Israel’s work to integrate Ethiopian Jews into the army.
  • Students will describe the importance of Israel, hope, and perseverance to the Ethiopian Jewish community.

Screening License Includes:

  • The rights to screen Mekonen to a group 10+ people
  • A hi-resolution download of the 40-minute mini-doc Mekonen
  • A link to the downloadable online screening kit which includes: a moderator’s guide, discussion questions, FAQs, marketing and promotional materials.

PLEASE NOTE: the film is in Hebrew with English subtitles and is therefore recommended for 8th grade and up.

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