New Book: Sharaby and Kaplan, Showcase Mannequins: Ethiopian Immigrants Leadership in Israel (Hebrew)

שרעבי, רחל ואביבה קפלן. כמו בובות בחלון ראווה. מנהיגי העולים מאתיופיה בישראל. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.





Much has been written about Ethiopian immigrants, but nothing yet on the leaders of this community that has been jolted between its past life – as a traditional agricultural society in Ethiopia, and its present one – with the need to struggle for its position in the contemporary social fabric in Israel, and especially to adapt to it. These leaders led a difficult migration process that was revolutionary in its leap from a patriarchal world, with a clear organization and order, into a chaotic and confused postmodern society.

Rachel Sharabi and Aviva Kaplan’s book examines several aspects of this issue: it analyzes the tension between the religious establishment in Israel and the spiritual leaders of the community; it deals with an identity existing between migration and old age, as both circumstances, old age and migration, are an expression of social situations in which identities are denied and abandoned as a result of changing life circumstances. As can be seen from the narrative in this book, Ethiopian leaders were “wrecked” by the revolution they led. The anthropological and socio-historical approaches are interrelated in the present study to provide a new perspective for examining the lives of the participants; it allowed to better understand their story as presented by them, in their own language and their own way, in order to create a reality with which they identify and in it take pride. The integrated approaches allowed to raise the conflicts intertwined in the lives of a “Black” community who lives amidst a wider, “white” population.

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