Jerusalem U is about to release a mini-documentary about the journey of IDF Lt. Mekonen Abebe. This film picks up on the story of one of the soldiers that we first met in the highly acclaimed documentary Beneath the Helmet during which Mekonen was a trainee soldier in the IDF's parachute regiment, under my command.
Mekonen: The Story of an Ethiopian Jew, presents both his history before joining the army as well as his process of becoming an IDF officer himself and I am really happy that Jerusalem U has made this film, and that I was able to be part of it, because I feel that Mekonen’s story is an important story to share.
It’s not just the personal account of a remarkable individual, it is also the collective account of an entire community, the story Ethiopian Jewry.
Mekonen's story is perhaps bigger than even than that of his community or of Israel - it is a univerals story, one that applies to any country grappling with the challenges of absorbing immigrants. It describes the process a person goes through to integrate into a new society, while still remaining true to his or her roots.