Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd gets a boost in the US with picture books and new resources – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

( JTA ) — Synagogues and Hebrew schools in the United States looking to help their communities celebrate Sigd, an ethiopian jewish vacation, have gotten a helping hand this year, thanks to Sigal Kanotopsky .
Kanotopsky is the inaugural ethiopian Jew to hold a regional leadership position at the jewish Agency for Israel, a nonprofit organization representation associated with the israeli government that promotes immigration to Israel. now overseeing the agency ’ s operations in the northeastern United States, she was 7 when her family arrived in Israel in 1983, contribution of a wave of ethiopian immigrants who had made their curl largely by foot, through Sudan and countless hardships .
The wave of ethiopian immigration brought — Sigd, which takes locate 50 days after Yom Kippur and celebrates yearning for Israel — to the jewish submit. ( This year, the one day festival begins Tuesday night. ) advocacy from within the community led to Israel adopting Sigd as a national vacation in 2008. But it remained largely under the radar in other countries — and evening to many in Israel — until the final few years, amid a growing appreciation for jewish diversity.

“ In a year that saw renewed and far-flung understand of the importance of the Movement for Black Lives, celebrating Sigd provides american Jews with a alone opportunity to activate our sense of the racial diverseness of the Jewish residential district, ” Ruth Abusch-Magder and Beza Abebe wrote in 2020 on Kveller. “ By celebrating Sigd here in the U.S., we send a herculean message that we are all partially of the global jewish peoplehood. ”

last year, PJ Library sent “ Pumpkin Pie for Sigd, ” a mental picture book about an american in Israel finding consolation during Thanksgiving by joining her ally ’ mho Sigd celebration, to thousands of american english Jewish families. And immediately, under Kanotopsky ’ randomness leadership, the jewish Agency has released what it is calling “ Sigd in a Box, ” a collection of digital resources that communities can use to teach about ethiopian jewish music, food and customs.

“ By accessing Sigd-in-a-Box, jewish communities across the earth can grow closer — first learning about one another ’ randomness unique customs and cultures, and then flush serving as de facto ambassadors for Sigd, ” Kanotopsky, who has been based outside Philadelphia since last year, said in a statement. She is visiting a handful of communities in person to plowshare Sigd traditions .
The growing recognition of Sigd among non-Ethiopian Jews has generated complicated reactions for some. “ It is a strange spirit to see all the many invitations and publications about Sigd celebrations on social media, ” wrote Shula Mola, an Ethiopian-Israeli scholar spending the year in the United States, in a jewish Telegraphic Agency op-ed survive year. She recounted how she had been ambivalent about Sigd ’ s embrace in Israel, remembering the atmospheric pressure she felt to be an ambassador of a culture that many Israelis retentive seemed unwilling to learn about and knowing that many ethiopian Jews there continue to feel marginalized .
This year, Israel ’ randomness population of ethiopian immigrants has grown. In the latest development in a afflictive and prolong immigration saga, hundreds of Falash Mura — descendants of ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity about 200 years ago and who are relatives of the Beta Israel Jews who were airlifted to Israel in 1991 — were permitted to move to Israel over the summer. But an estimate 10,000 remain in Ethiopia, and the jewish Agency has been working with the israeli government to bring more of them to Israel .
“ Sigd is a fantastic opportunity for our global Jewish community to become close as we celebrate this moving day of communal reflection, ” said the agency ’ south chair, Doron Almog, in a instruction about the new Sigd resources. “ It ’ s a time for us to learn more about the rich ethiopian jewish culture and besides honor the difficult travel many made — and many who are still waiting to make – to Jerusalem. ”

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