The Ethiopian Jewish community. According to tradition, Judaism was introduced to Ethiopia by the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. For thousands of years the Ethiopian Jews lived in a closed community with little contact with other Jewish communities in the world. Most of the community immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia in two waves of mass immigration (1984, 1991). Many of the Ethiopians in Israel came from small, undeveloped villages and one of their main challenges was to adapt to a modern western country and overcome great tragedies which occurred during their exodus to Israel. They came from a strong patriarchal family, bringing different traditions and customs. Within the Ethiopian community, older people are highly respected and considered the main authority within the family and the community. Even when older people have dementia, people turn to them for advice and don’t know what to do when their judgement is poor. They look at dementia as a physical disease and are often embarrassed by behaviours. When visitors come round, the person with dementia is often kept in his/her room and they are told that he doesn’t feel well. EMDA has started a support group in an Ethiopian community that focuses on understanding the disease and how to cope with and care for the person with dementia
Support for Ethiopian Jews
Alzheimer Europe's database on intercultural initiatives was developed as part of the 2018 Work Plan which received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014–2020).
Alzheimer Europe also gratefully acknowledges the funding provided by Robert Bosch Stiftung.