April 25. 2012 / 3 Iyar 5772
On 23 April, a mission from Temple Israel in Bloomfield, Michigan visited three Jewish Agency Absorption Centers in Safed.
120 Jews from Michigan visited Miron, Cana’an, and Tzahal – Absorption Centers where new immigrants from Ethiopia are living. The visitors were welcomed with a Buna ceremony – a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony – in tukus (model Ethiopian homes). Directors of the Centers and representatives from the Jewish Agency’s Mission’s Department explained the process of Ethiopian immigration and absorption, including the educational enrichment (Yesodot) programs designed to bridge the gap for children who will soon join the regular Israeli education streams.
The visitors were lucky to experience firsthand an afternoon enrichment program where the children were preparing to celebrate their first Yom Ha’Atzmaut in Israel. The children were being taught different Israeli symbols and how Israelis celebrate their independence. The young new Israelis enjoyed an afternoon of magic shows, art programs, and music.
The visitors conversed with the children using a little English and a little Hebrew. They sang and danced with the children. They waved Israeli flags together; the new immigrants from Ethiopia and the Michigan Jews the global Jewish family celebrating together in the land of Israel.