Life After the Bat Mitzvah...

April 21, 2016

 

Hi guys! 

 

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, so long, in fact, that I’ve actually become a Bat Mitzvah! The service was way back in November, which I know isn’t really the best excuse for procrastinating from writing my next post but, you can’t blame me. There were so. Many. Thank-you. Cards. Once I had written them, I had to be rushed to hospital, as my arm had fallen off (kidding), and don’t even get me started on my schoolwork. However, let me tell you, it was worth it. To stand up on the bimah and have a sea of red, purple and pink stripy kippot in the corner of my eye, gave me a sense of accomplishment, and I was pretty proud of myself to be honest, knowing that people in Gondar had actually made them, and shipped them over just for the event.

 

You can’t even imagine the excitement when they arrived the week beforehand. There was a lot of squealing, and exclamation marks, and sniffing. Yes, I said sniffing. The kippot seriously smelled so good, of spices and smoke, almost like we had bought it from the marketplace that morning.

 

People who had missed the service asked if there were any spares, and the beautiful design on top is exactly how I designed it. Every time they come out on Shabbat, I remember my Bat Mitzvah, and my friends in Gondar.

 

So here I am, sitting in a hotel room, overlooking Tel Aviv on my school holidays. After hearing about how hard it is for people in Gondar to travel to Israel, and thinking about how lucky I am, to be able to just hop on a plane, and breeze past their security (Even if my mother almost got us arrested for splitting us into two lines, ‘to get to the front faster’, much to the dismay of my father). I also recently found out that if I wanted to, I could apply to, and become an Israeli citizen. This has made me think about all the Jews in Ethiopia, and how hard it is for them to travel here, as they need a visa, and are having to wait for years in order for the Israeli government to look at their case.

 

 

Unfortunately, things aren’t as easy as I have it on the other side of the world. In the village in Gondar that I’ve been supporting, a fire broke out last week, which burned 165 homes beyond repair, and two families which this charity supported, and needed support beforehand, are now living in tents with the other homeless families. The Kindu Trust, who Meketa work through on sponsorship,  are aiming to raise £2,000, and I plan to create some sort of fundraiser (Coming soon), but I hope that anyone who might be reading this can spare a few pounds, and help our friends. You can donate at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/gondarfire, to help the village get back on its feet.

 

Also, look out if you go to my synagogue! My mother being who she is, emailed my first blog post to everyone she knew. And I mean everyone. My family in Israel and America, my form tutors at school, and my Rabbi. The head of education at my Haderech is trying to organise someone to come in from Meketa, and talk to the kids there, which is going to be great, and I might even get to say something about my Gondar family.

 

Before I go, I’ll be really annoying and remind you to donate to the fire fund. Happy Pesach guys, I hope you’re having fun, wherever you are.

 

Signing off,

 

 

-Ellie

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Latest News 

Most girls in the Gondar Jewish community tend to stay at home and miss school during some of the days of their monthly cycle.   They could fall behind with their schooling and struggle to keep up with the class. We have linked up with the Days4girls project to provide girls with re-usable feminine hygiene kits. Seven kits were sent in time for International Women's Day.

We started a new club in Shewa Dabo – an area further out in Gondar where many of the Jewish families have moved to because the housing is much cheaper.  Click here to find out more about it 

Our programme, LIFT, gives direct support to elderly and infirm members of the community living in poverty.  Learn more about it here.

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Contact Details: Meketa, 10 Camley  Park Drive,  Maidenhead Berkshire  SL6  6QF  E-mail: projects@meketa.org.uk   Phone: +44 (0)7526 189352