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Gather Around the Table

A Passover Seder- Ethiopian Style

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6 Jun 2018 (All day)
Gather Around the Table

Gather around the table to hear about this special Passover Seder meal, Ethiopian style! The ICEJ helped 1,308 Ethiopian Jews return to Israel this past year, and it was our great joy to help them celebrate their very first Passover Seder meal here in the land of Israel. The Charuv Absorption Center in Beersheba held a pre-Seder meal for the new Ethiopian immigrants to teach them how to celebrate the biblical feast of Passover. The ceremony was not just a part of the absorption centre classes but was also a time to celebrate the fact that the dream of living in Israel had finally come true.

Entering the room dressed in their traditional Ethiopian clothing, the new Ethiopian immigrants excitedly sat down at the tables that were already prepared with the Passover Seder elements. Several guests and sponsors expressed their joy for these new immigrants. Rabbi Menachem Waldman explained, “As you saw in Gondor last year, still 8,500 Ethiopian Jews are waiting, but be sure that all of them will come. Why do I say this? Because it isn’t a decision of the prime minister or government ministers, it is a decision of God. God’s voice comes to the ears of the Jewish people wherever they are and to whomever is listening, and they come to Israel.” ICEJ’s VP of Operations Barry Denison also encouraged these new immigrants by saying, “The ICEJ has been praying for you to return to Israel, and seeing you here today celebrating your first Passover in Israel is an answer to our prayers.”

The Ethiopian children also had a special Passover celebration, which allowed them to interact and learn more about Passover. They enjoyed tasting each of the Passover elements, singing the songs, dancing and playing games.

After the ceremony, an Ethiopian family invited us to their home for a real taste of Ethiopia. Their hospitality was astounding as the women prepared and served us fresh Ethiopian coffee that was roasted, ground, brewed and poured right before our eyes. They also prepared homemade popcorn and injera (a type of flatbread). It is beautiful to see that the Ethiopian immigrants are learning Hebrew and integrating into the Israeli culture while not losing sight of their Ethiopian roots, which add to the unique flavour of Israeli society.

The ICEJ is honoured to be a part of not only helping the Ethiopian Jews return to the land of Israel, but also helping them integrate into their new home. A young father and recent Ethiopian immigrant said, “It is amazing to see that such big organisations care about us, notice us and want to help us.” Thanks to your generosity we were able to bless well beyond a thousand new immigrants with meals to help them gather around their very own Passover Seder table for the first time here in Israel!


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