Sigd: A Celebration for All:

How might Jews in the U.S. celebrate Sigd while honoring the history and culture of the Beta Israel community?

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, PhD
& Dr. Bezawit Abebe

Sigd is an ancient Jewish holiday preserved through the generations exclusively by Ethiopian Jews. Awareness of Sigd is growing in the United States and can become an opportunity to expand understanding of the Jewish people’s historical racial and ethnic diversity.

Sigd celebration could open conversations that center the Black Jewish experience, challenge colonialist ways of thinking about the center and periphery of Jewish life, and help explore the complex culture and history of Ethiopian Jews.

At the same time, the adoption of Sigd may fuel tokenism, relegating engagement with the multifaceted issues of racial diversity in the Jewish community. Explore what celebrating Sigd with intention in the United States might look like.

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