Community elders celebrate Sigd
Community elders celebrate Sigd
Photo: Reuters
Sigd celebrations in Jerusalem in 2018

Jerusalem center makes Ethiopian Jewish holiday a national party

The Sigd festival is celebrated exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur and is unheard of by many Jews; this year, due to coronavirus cutting short any hope of a true celebration, Beit Avi Chai cultural center is bringing the holiday to you

Yulia Karra |
Published: 11.12.20 , 14:32
Most Jews across the world have not heard about the special festival of Sigd.
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  • The unique holiday is celebrated mostly by Ethiopian Jews exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, as a renewal of the covenant between the Jewish people, God, the Torah as well as the fervent desire to return to Zion.
    Sigd celebrations in Jerusalem in 2018 Sigd celebrations in Jerusalem in 2018
    Sigd celebrations in Jerusalem in 2018
    (Photo: Reuters)
    In 2008, the Knesset even established the Jewish date of 29 of Heshvan as a national holiday in Israel in honor of Sigd.
    This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all physical celebrations have been cancelled. A cultural center in Jerusalem, however, is offering Israelis a unique chance to share the experience of the festival with a host of online events.
    Beit Avi Chai has made it a tradition to celebrate the holiday, long before the onset of the pandemic, but this year the experience appears to be more necessary than ever.
    Community elders celebrate Sigd Community elders celebrate Sigd
    Community elders celebrate Sigd
    (Photo: Reuters)
    “Beit Avi Chai sees itself as a home to the diverse cultures of the Jewish world,” said Beit Avi Chai's Executive Director Dr. David Rozenson. “Sigd marks an important tradition for the Ethiopian community but I think that every person can identify with the personal soul-searching, desire to reconnect to our traditions and the longing that many around the world feel for Israel that the holiday of Sigd expresses and celebrates.”
    Among the events planned between November 10 and 18, are a special Sigd celebration that highlights the evolution of Ethiopian-Israeli music, a presentation by Rabbi Sharon Shalom on the history and roots of Ethiopian Jewry, a Sigd workshop for children with artist Nadav Nachmany, and many others.
    The project is available throughout the duration of the holiday via Beit Avi Chai's website
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