AMIT students mark Sigd holiday with renowned journalist
To mark the Ethiopian holiday of Sigd, which falls 50 days after Yom Kippur, the students of Yeshivat AMIT Eliraz welcomed Channel 2 news correspondent Brahno Taganya for a discussion about adapting to life in Israel, his journalistic success, and everything in between.
Sigd, which has been recognized as a national holiday in Israel since 2008, centers on the return to Zion and the acceptance of the Torah and is marked by communal prayer and fasting.
Taganya told the students his personal story of making aliyah from Ethiopia to Israel at age 10, his family’s challenging absorption, and his journey to one of the most recognized Israeli television journalists. The students were rapt by his account of personal empowerment and his continuous fight against racism in Israeli society.
Taganya also answered questions from the students and encouraged them to embrace their individuality. “Don’t try to appease others all the time; first of all, accept yourselves and be who you are,” he said. “You might face obstacles and challenges, but you will cope with them and succeed.”
One of the students said the meeting with Taganya was inspiring. “The discussion gave me the confidence to be myself, not to judge others based on their appearance, and always to believe in my strengths and abilities.”
Ninth-grade students performed a play about their immigration from Ethiopia and the Sigd holiday before welcoming Taganya.
Rabbi Yair Chetboun, the school’s principal, said the AMIT Eliraz community is proud of its Ethiopian students. “Their community is brave and has strong values and is worthy of respect from all of Israeli society. We are proud to see our graduates perform meaningful army service and contribute to our society and state.”