The National Authority of Religious Services is expected to ordain 11 new rabbis of Ethiopian descent to better serve the Beta Israel community, which numbers over 100,000. The community currently has only one rabbi, Yosef Hadanah, serving its population.
The Beta Israel community was isolated from other Jewish/Israelite communities for millennia, leading to major differences in law and custom. These differences often generate problems with the official Rabbinate, especially with regard to issues of personal status – marriage, divorce, and conversion – over which the Rabbinate has jurisdiction. The newly ordained Rabbis will be capable and empowered to deal with the Beta Israel community more effectively.