Location: Sderot Avats, Kiryat Gat
Add this to your Israel itinerary! Went to Beta Israel Ethiopian Village today. It was AMAZING!! Great hands-on learning experience. Went with kids ages 10-19. We learned about the Ethiopian Aliyah and Ethiopian culture from people who lived through the Aliyah, we did really fun activities, we chose 3 of their activities including making name plaques in their language, making clay sculptures and then helping build a mud hut (kids used their feet to make the mud, bring flip flops!). It was meaningful, educational and fun! And the women/teen girls who lead each part were amazing. Highly recommended. It was one of our highlight activities from our trip!
Experiential Ethiopian Village For the preservation and endowment of the legacy of Ethiopian Jewry
Beta Israel Village (formerly known as Atachlit) is a unique social-educational center which combines agriculture and educational activities in order to preserve Jewish-Ethiopian heritage and establish it as a sustainable national asset. The Project is the brainchild of the Hineni organization, which has been initiating and supporting Jewish-Ethiopian mission driven communities for more than a decade.
In 2009, on the outskirts of Kiryat Gat, the Hineni organization launched a communal-social agriculture project for Ethiopian elders. The farm, which was founded with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, provided Jewish-Ethiopian elders with employment in agriculture, a field in which they possess traditional knowledge and to which they have a natural connection. This vocation has filled their days with meaningful substance and has allowed them to regain the ability of providing for their families. All of the above, together with various activities, events and self-help and community-building workshops, have significantly and notably restored the self-dignity of plan participants, and has resulted in improving their personal standing within their families and their communities.
It took only a few years for the Project to grow and expand even further, together with the agricultural farm project, and, since 2011, the site has been used for a social-business project known as Beta Israel Village (Beta Israel is a term used to identify Ethiopian Jewry). The village is attracting visits from Ethiopian descendants who rediscover their ancestral heritage and learn to view it as a source of pride and empowerment in their lives. It also attracts thousands of non-Ethiopian visitors who are exposed, often for the first time, to the wealth of Ethiopian culture and thus change many of their former stereotypes about this community.
For details about their workshops and to visit please go to their website. You must call before you go!