Cheqle Tadesse and his family waited
for their chance to come to Israel.
For Ethiopians who believe they have a legitimate immigration eligibility claim
In Hebrew, they are called
or 'those who wait'.
they are told to leave their villages and come to the city of Gondar to wait.
Cheqle, a farmer, had to rely on manual labor jobs.
The income was insufficient to sustain city life.
Cheqle’s brothers in Israel sent the family money to survive.
In Gondar, Cheqle and wife Asmera attended Sabbath prayers at the community center synagogue.
Upon arrival, these immigrants are taken to Absorption Centers spread across the country.
They are enrolled in Orthodox conversion courses.
Housing costs are deducted from their monthly immigrant benefits.
Attendance is tied to their residency status.
Though he lives in Israel now, Cheqle retains his expired residency certificate from a subsection of Gondar.
In Amharic, his religion is listed as Jewish.
When the Tadesse family finally arrived in Israel, and reunited with their family, Cheqle says:
Cheqle and Asmera attend Hebrew language classes at the Absorption Center.
Cheqle, who fell ill 4 years ago, has only begun to regain his speech in the past year.
“I go, I never miss," says Cheqle.
"But he forgets because of his illness,” adds Asmera.
“But even in spite of that, I still go.”