Every year the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel celebrates the Sigd holiday. The name, derived from the Hebrew word for “prostration” – “sgida” – is celebrated on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, 50 days after Yom Kippur.
This year it is coming to Wellington. Kasa Bainesay-Harbor, the deputy chief of mission at Israel’s embassy will give a presentation at the Wellington Jewish Community Centre at 4pm on Sunday November 11.
Kasa Bainesay-Harbor will draw on her own personal experiences and the experiences of her family and community to talk about the difficult and complex operations performed by the State of Israel to bring the Ethiopian Jewish community known as Beta Israel home to Jerusalem.
Today 135,000 Ethiopian immigrants live in Israel. More than 49,000 were born there and the others were brought to Israel during Operation Moses, the covert evacuation from the Sudan of Ethiopian Jews during the civil war that caused famine in 1984.
During Sigd, members of the Jewish community travel to Jerusalem and visit the Wailing Wall and promenade in the city’s Armon Hanatziv neighbourhood to take the opportunity to strengthen their connection with their roots and culture.
The celebration will be followed by traditional Ethiopian delicacies.