What does it mean to travel from a rural Ethiopian village to the heart of urban Israel?; To leap between two worlds so far apart that one would expect it would take several generations to bridge?
Renowned photojournalist Ricki Rosen documented Israel’s rescue of 15,000 Jews from Ethiopia during the historic Operation Solomon airlift. Thirteen years later, she went on a quest to find the same Ethiopian Jews now settled all over Israel. The result is Transformations.
Her compelling photos portray dramatic scenes of the mass exodus of the Ethiopian Jews. Thousands of people wrapped in white robes heading towards the Promised Land, like the biblical Exodus from Egypt. Her contemporary photos are poignant portraits of these Ethiopians radically transformed by their Israeli experience. Children in rags have grown up to be proud Israeli soldiers, malnourished babies have developed into fashionable teenagers, and mothers who lost children to starvation and disease have given birth to new families.
In an illustrated talk, Ricki Rosen took us on a journey from the mud huts of Africa to the skyscrapers of Israel, from the exotic and traditional to the ultra-modern. She told the story of her quest and of an ancient lost tribe’s transformation into the newest Israelis.
Photographer Ricki Rosen has been published in every major international magazine, including on the covers of the New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, People, andFigaro, and featured in numerous books and exhibitions. She began her career in New York and has been based in Israel for the last seventeen years.