Sigd in Ethiopia & Israel

One of the most fascinating and difficult parts of Israel is that there is a common religion and nationality for 80% of the civilians, Judaism, but thousands of years in diaspora has led to multiple cultures, languages, and ways to practice Judaism. The desire to keep traditional practices while also being part of the larger Israeli society and being accepted by the Rabbinate in Israel, has caused difficulties for the Ethiopian-Israeli community. Sigd, a Jewish holiday traditionally observed in Ethiopia, provides an opportunity to glimpse the current state of affairs for Ethiopian-Israelis. … More Sigd in Ethiopia & Israel

Israel – A Land of Connections and Divisions

Today’s participant blog post comes from Daniel Hammerman, a participant in the Yahel Social Change Program.  Dan’s group is living, learning and volunteering in Lod, Israel for 9 months this year. This post was taken from Dan’s personal blog, which can be found here. We have all heard the saying, “you can’t fully understand a person until you’ve walked … More Israel – A Land of Connections and Divisions

A Beautiful Metaphor

For those who may not know, I am currently in training to serve for the year as a volunteer community organizer in the developing Ramat Eliyahu neighborhood of Rishon LeZion, Israel. The community is largely comprised of Jewish Ethiopian immigrants, many of whom came to Israel by way of the covert Israeli military evacuations of Ethiopian Jews from both Sudan and Ethiopia (due to famine in Sudan and political instability in Ethiopia). Operation Moses, the mass evacuation from Sudan, occurred in 1984, while Operation Solomon took place in 1991. As a result, much of the millennial and post-millennial generations of Ethiopian Jews in Israel are first-generation Israelis, and in the short time that I have been here, I am already starting to pick up on the subtle cultural identity divide between the native Ethiopian parents and their Israeli-born children. … More A Beautiful Metaphor

A New Kind of Family

This post was written by Dana Larsen. Dana was a participant on this summer’s Yahel Repair the World Onward Israel Service-learning Initiative in Be’er Sheva. As the New Year approaches, I reminded of how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to live and engage in service learning in such an incredible place, surrounded by remarkable people. For six weeks … More A New Kind of Family

The Textures of Israel that Reshaped the Textures of Me / Erica Mitchell, Yahel Social Change Program Participant

Photos are representations of things we’ve seen and places we’ve been. They reveal feelings through images; these images depict the texture of my Israel. Sigd was an important event for it taught me more about my Ethiopian Israeli neighbors. I could feel the importance of this holiday by going to Jerusalem to celebrate it.