Emissary Named Zimna - Shagrir Collection

Production Notes

Micha Shagrir: “I once asked Zimna when he first felt Israeli. He said that one day he and some friends from the Mossad went to pressure Prime Minister Begin about a postponed operation to save Ethiopian Jews. When they were not successful in persuading his, Zimna got really upset, held onto the table and threatened to turn it over. That outburst was when he first felt Israeli.”


In 1955, twelve Ethiopian children were secretly brought to Israel. They were taken to the Kfar Batya boarding school in order to train them as future leaders and emissaries to the Beta-Israel community back in Ethiopia. They learned Hebrew, Israeli culture and history. One of these children was Zimna Brahano. At the time, the religious establishment in Israel was opposed to bringing “the Falasha” to Israel and did not recognize them as Jews. Zimna and his classmates returned to Ethiopia, but many of them immigrated to Israel during the 1960’s, including Zimna himself who joined the IDF and volunteered for the paratroopers. Upon his discharge he was sent to Ethiopia, and under the cover as an engineer for the Israeli governmental engineering company, collected information about Jews who had escaped the civil war to Sudan. He took part in most of the major efforts to bring the Jews of Ethiopia to Israel and to locating those who remained behind. In 1993 Micha Shagrir accompanied Zimna to the Ethiopian-Sudanese border to look for Jews. Using Zimna’s life as a backdrop, along with the long history of Jews in Ethiopia, this film takes a look at Zimna the man, as well as his important work with the Ethiopian community.

Production Details

Director: Micha Shagrir
Producers: Micha Shagrir
Production Company: Shiba Communications Ltd.
With assistance from: The Jewish Agency for Israel – Aliyah Department, JDC (Joint), World Zionist Organization – Advocacy Department
Cinematography: Alon Bernstein, Ronni Calderon, Meni Elias
Sound: Avi Aloni, Tomer Blayer
Editing: Jacques Hana, Arik Lahav (Leibowitz)
Production country: Israel
Filming location: Ethiopia, Israel
Image: Color
Languages: Hebrew, with English subtitles
Available Formats: BETACAM, DVD



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