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SIGD in Hefzibah

Mimi serving the injira sauces.

SIGD is a holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community. The name is derived from the Hebrew word for prostration, "sgida". It has been declared a national holiday by the Knesset.

At this time, the community marks the renewal of the covenant between the Jewish people, God and His Torah. It takes place 50 days after Yom Kippur and is a fast day of individual and communal introspection.
Today, since most members of the Ethiopian Jewish community have made aliyah, the holiday is symbolized by giving thanks and visiting Jerusalem. It also serves as an annual gathering of the entire Ethiopian community, and its members view it as an opportunity to strengthen the connection with their roots and culture.

Every small Ethiopian community throughout the country also holds its own celebration. This year I once again attended the Sigd Ceremony in Hefzibah, Netanya, where ESRA has one of its six Students Build a Community projects.

After the lovely displays of the ethnic ceramics and clothing, "buna" coffee ceremony and tasty treats of injira for the hot spice lovers, the sweet treats and craft stations for the kids, the main ceremony began.

From left to right: Gila, Noy (our compere) and Ester

Noy, a graduate of our SBC project and of our Journey to Identity project, was the beautiful and talented compere for the evening. As a member of ESRA's Volume Music Center, she sang the opening song and introduced the Kessim and Rabbi who opened the evening with the traditional Amharic prayer. This was followed by stories, songs and dances, all showing different aspects of the community and their journey. The Mayor of Netanya, Miriam Feirberg-Ikar, gave a warm speech, also thanking ESRA for our support of the community.

Our present and past students and children – and their children! – were to be seen everywhere. The presence of ESRA and our part in empowering this whole community is palpable.

Thank you ESRA!

The Kessim closing the ceremony


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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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