June 29, 2009 / 7 Tammuz 5769
A delegation of families from the Am Shalom Synagogue in Chicago visited the Jewish Agency's Merchavia Absorption Center on June 17th.
The delegation first received an overview from the Merchavia Absoption Center's director regarding Ethiopian immigration and absorption. Afterwards, the group toured the Ethiopian cultural heritage center, named “Et-iophia”. The name is a play on the Hebrew words Ethiopia and At Yophia, which means you are beautiful. The delegation also took part in preparing Ethiopian coffee (Boneh) and participated in an Ethiopian dance workshop under the guidance of Ethiopian dancer, Sisay Manyivav.
The member of the delegation, made up of three generations, were fascinated by what they had learned about Ethiopian customs and absorption. They especially enjoyed participating in the dance workshops which helped them forge friendships with the new immigrants.