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Sigd: In Between Israel and Ethiopia

Sigd: In Between Israel and Ethiopia

Wed, Nov 3, 2021 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

Register here.

Join us to honor and celebrate the Jewish Ethiopian holiday of Sigd.

About this event

The Jews of Ethiopia, or Beta Israel, were separated from the rest of Jewish community for thousands of years. The longing to return to their fatherland pulsated in every generation. The holiday of Sigd was a community occasion that manifested the longing for the Land of Israel, and the connection between the members of the community wherever they are.

Many years have passed since the Beta Israel community celebrated Sigd in their villages in Ethiopia, but they still mark it and enjoy its traditions in Israel. This Holy Day originated in Ethiopia and made Aliyah together with the Ethiopian community. Like the people, it also encountered immigration challenges. The road to absorption was long and arduous.

What does this day stand for today? What traditions does it preserve? What are its rituals and what is the essence of its heritage?

This year we mark the 30th anniversary of Operation Solomon, which brought more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

Program:

Greetings: Ambassador Meron Reuben, Consul General of Israel to New England.

Keynote Speaker: Yuvi Tashome-Katz, social entrepreneur and activist

Musical performance: Orit Tashoma, singer, rapper and spoken word artist.

This event is co-hosted by the Consulate General of Israel to New England, Get Konnected!, Lappin Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, Jewish Federation of Greater New Hampshire, Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Jewish Communities of Vermont, Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, UJA Federation of Greenwich, Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.

Keynote Speaker Bio:

Yuvi Tashome-Katz is a social entrepreneur and an activist who made aliya to Israel from Ethiopia in 1984 at the age of 7 after a long, perilous journey through the Sudan desert. Her fascinating story was featured in 2010 in a children’s book, “Yuvi’s Candy Tree” available in Hebrew and in English.

In 2011, on Israel’s 63rd Independence Day, Yuvi was one of a handful of Israelis chosen to light a torch in the national Yom Ha’azmaut ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Later that year she was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Initiatives and Innovation and the Matanel Prize for Groundbreaking Leadership.

Yuvi’s remarkable journeys – from Ethiopia to Israel, and from a marginalized position in Israeli society to its highest awards – were paved with her singular vision, tremendous strength, determination and persistent hard work.

In over 20 years, Yuvi has been involved in a variety of educational programs and community action work in Israel and abroad. She started right after completing an IDF service, as a counselor in Camp Ramah and Camp Tawonga where she learned about the rich cultural dimensions of Jewish life in the United States. After returning to Israel, Yuvi served as an instructor and a coordinator in the Society for Nature Protection’s multicultural project, and managed the Sorek Field School, and developed a leadership-training program for at-risk youth. Yuvi also worked as an instructor, leader and a program developer at the Mandel Leadership Institute.

In 2005, Yuvi co-founded Friends by Nature: Community Empowerment (FBN) that builds “Garinim” – community action groups composed of families and young adults, Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian, who share a vision and educational goals and choose to live in neglected neighborhoods with high rates of Ethiopian inhabitants in towns and cities in Israel’s social and geographic periphery. The first Garin was established by Yuvi and her friends in Gedera and was led by her for over 8 years. Since FBN’s has expanded and is currently operating Garinim in 8 localities, serving as a model of tolerance, mutual respect, and inclusiveness. In 2013 Yuvi became a Local Council Member in Gedera.

Today, Yuvi serves as Chairwoman and volunteer CEO of FBN and continues to be instrumental in the neighborhood programs. She is an active volunteer and guide in seminars on identity, organic farming, family, and the narrative of Ethiopian Jews. She also works as a program developer and leader at the Green Environment Network, and as an independent consultant and instructor. In addition, she leads a Placemaking program that brings together women from all walks of life.

Artist Bio:

Orit Tashoma is an Israeli rapper, spoken word artist and soul singer of Ethiopian descent. She manages to find optimism in the deepest depths, to find what she calls “The Abundance in Scarcity” – like the title of her debut album.

When Orit talks and sings, she creates images for her audiences, of Ethiopian handshakes and enormous family gatherings.

Official Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cfWXcER8W8

Spotify: https://digistage.to/HshefaBadalot_Album

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Diaorita/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/orit_tashoma/

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