|Regions with significant populations|
1.75% of the
|Part of |
Beta Israel (
The Beta Israel lived in northern and northwestern Ethiopia, in more than 500 small villages spread over a wide territory, alongside populations that were
The Beta Israel made contact with other Jewish communities in the later 20th century. Following this, a rabbinic debate ensued over whether or not the Beta Israel were Jews. After
By the end of 2008, there were 119,300 people of
Throughout its history, the community has been referred to by numerous names. According to tradition the name "Beta Israel" (literally, "house of Israel" in
This name contrasts with "Beta Kristiyan" (literally, "house of Christianity", referring to "church" in Ge'ez). Originally, it did not have any negative connotations, and the community has since used Beta Israel as its official name. Since the 1980s, it has also become the official name used in the scholarly and scientific literature to refer to the community. The term Esra'elawi "
The name Ayhud, "
The derogatory term Falasha, which means "landless, wanderers", was given to the community in the 15th century by the Emperor