Bar and bat mitzvah project with Ethiopian Jews raises £40000

by Selam

Jewish youngsters in London have helped their Ethiopian-Israeli peers raise more than £40,000 for their home community back in Haifa, by twinning with 100 Ethiopian bar and bat mitvzah participants.

The UJIA programme saw the graduating Ethiopian Jews brought over to London last month, meeting their ‘twins’ from Kingston and Surbiton, Kinloss, South Hampstead and St Johns Wood.

The event, at which the Israeli guests sang a lively rendition of ‘KolHaOlamKulo’ in Hebrew and English, saw British youngsters writing Rosh Hashanah cards to the Ethiopian community in Kiriyat Bialik, in the Haifa district.

David Blitz, Max Heller and Juliette Black

Participants in the programme: David Blitz, Max Heller and Juliette Black

UJIA volunteer coordinator Marcelle Glantz reminded guests how far the programme had advanced since it was based within an absorption centre, where the Ethiopian ‘Olim’ (immigrants) lived for a year, adding that the Ethiopians are now “able to integrate, and become more confident in Israeli society”.

Melanie Kelly, UJIA’s Living Bridge Programmes manager, said: “The Graduation event was such a success. The Rosh Hashanah cards will help to continue to bridge the connection between the EBBM club participants, and their twins in Israel.”

She added: “This is such an essential part of our programme, and aims for the future of our work – creating living bridges between the Israeli and UK communities.”

Juliette and Maddie Black with Phoebe Joseph

Participants in the programme: Juliette and Maddie Black with Phoebe Joseph

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