AAEJAmerican Association for Ethiopian Jews
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Indeed, Pollack and the AAEJ did not coordinate their plan with anyone.
From January through April, the transport program moved a modest number of Beta Israel to the capital city, fewer than 100 a week, according to AAEJ records.
And they expected to be taken to Jerusalem "immediately, tomorrow," as one AAEJ agent recalled in an interview.
Nor did most of the Ethiopian Jews who gave interviews for this book, including some who worked for the AAEJ and the other rescue organizations.
The AAEJ gave many of them the means, and the rest came on their own.
Why did the AAEJ believe that the Jews were in peril in Gondar?
Pollack and the other AAEJ officials believed that the Jews faced imminent threat: the war had created an emergency, with security and civil administration in Gondar progressively degenerating in the face of the rebel advance.
Another factor that impelled the AAEJ leaders to approve the transport program was their drive for action in the aliyah, informed by their historical impatience with what they saw as Israel's lack of a sense of urgency.
On May 12th, the first AAEJ truck carrying Jews from Gondar reached the city.
In the month of May, Pollack reported, the AAEJ agents transported 1,366 Jews from Gondar province to Addis Ababa.
The AAEJ gave one of its three tents to the Israeli embassy so that Beta Israel registering to emigrate could stay out of sight of the main road.