Discovering the Gefat: A New Ethiopian Jewish Community

Gefat children of Waliso, Ethiopia.

Gefat children of Waliso, Ethiopia.

Recently, while on a medical outreach to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jonathan Bernis and several members of the Jewish Voice team took a trip two hours south by car from Addis to an area called Waliso to meet a new Jewish community.

Gefat Tribe Facts

  • They number between 10,000-15,000 in a 5 kilometer area. In the larger 30 kilometer region, there are as many as 30,000 of these people.
  • The history of the Gefat goes back 600 years. They originally migrated from Addis Ababa.
  • They are known as the Fuga, a derogatory term that means “hated, un-liked people.” The original meaning of Fuga was “blower,” because they were blowers of the shofar. The term then became derogatory – as in dry up and blow away from us.
  • Cultural Jewish expressions: They circumcise their males on the eighth day and they celebrate different biblical feasts. In honor of Passover, they kill a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts and on their foreheads.
  • Like the other Jewish communities in Ethiopia, they are also artisans. Their pottery closely resembles the pottery of the Beta Israel and Beta Avraham.

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Watch Jonathan explain more about meeting the Gefat for the first time in this Jewish Voice YouTube video.

Consider joining us on a medical outreach. We need medical volunteers and dedicated prayer warriors to bring healing and the hope of Yeshua to poor Ethiopian Jews.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

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1 Comment

  1. frank amshel

     /  November 25, 2010

    I am most elated about this awe-inspiring discovery. Our God is indeed in the business of gathering HIS people to watch over them as the shepherd watches his flock. Glory to the Builder of Jerusalem and the shield of Abraham!
    Frank Amshel


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