Who Hosted Sigd This Year: From CENTCOM to American Jewish Organizations

The United States Central Command has a Twitter account in Hebrew. It was established in August 2021. It combines tweets about US forces with some content that is specifically tied to Israel, such as the recent Blue Flag exercise that took place in Israel. This is because Israel is now under the area of ​​operations of the United States Central Command. Among recent tweets, he celebrated the Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd with a tweet “Hag Sigd Sameach” or Happy Sigd holiday. The US Embassy in Jerusalem also wished a happy Sigd to “the entire Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel.” Sigd has been a national holiday in Israel since 2008.

The Sigd holiday is marked in Israel today with radio shows and other events, as well as with large numbers of Ethiopian Jews gathering in Jerusalem. It is a unique festival that brings together the traditions and customs of a minority community in Israel. There are also Ethiopian Jews abroad. The Jewish Agency has published articles on bringing Sigd to the United States and celebrating the holiday. Canadian Hadassah-WIZO also published an article on the holiday in 2018. There have been celebrations in Canada and elsewhere and articles pointing out that the holiday can and should be marked by Jewish communities worldwide. Bnei Akiva in the US and Canada mentioned the holidays in 2019 and there have been other events.

In Israel, the holiday was widely recognized this year, especially on social media. The Israel Air Force held a special event and groups like Be’chol Lashon, Stand With Us and British Emunah tweeted about it. Israeli ambassadors like Gilad Erdan celebrated and Jewish media wrote articles.

While some prominent Jewish organizations abroad celebrate the holiday, others seem to forget to mention it. UJA-Federation in New York wrote on Facebook: “Wishing Ethiopian Jews and all Jews a happy and meaningful Sigd! The holiday begins at sunset tonight and celebrates the acceptance of the Torah and connection with Jerusalem. “The organization linked to a JTA article by Shula Mola on the holiday. The American Jewish Committee commemorated the holiday, noting that” today, Ethiopian Jews in Israel and around the world celebrate Sigd, a holiday that symbolizes acceptance of the Torah and return to Jerusalem. “The World Jewish Congress wrote on November 3:” Ethiopian Jews celebrate the holiday of Sigd from tonight, 50 days after Yom Kippur. It is a celebration of acceptance of the Torah and a longing to return to Zion. ”

B’nai B’rith, who calls herself “the Global Voice of the Jewish community and a leader in promoting human rights and fighting anti-Semitism,” did not appear to mention the holiday on her social media this year. B’nai Brith Canada has mentioned holidays in the past, in a tweet in 2017. AIPAC did not appear to mention holidays this year.

‘Acting for a pittance’: Sigd prayers in Jerusalem on November 16 (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI / FLASH90)

There is a notable lack of recognition of the holiday, which is particularly severe among the progressive side of the Jewish spectrum in the US This is not due to a lack of discussion about Israel and Jewish affairs in Israel. How to “get in” and discuss Israel is one of the key themes for many prominent discussions by American Jews these days. This is especially true for those who want a forceful critique of Israel’s policies, but also claim to want to compromise with the country.

However, a survey of the social media accounts of prominent voices from this part of the community reveals a lack of recognition of Sigd, a surprising absence considering the discussion about diversity and the need to embrace minorities, people from color and those who suffer from racism, of which the Ethiopian Jewish community is an important component. Peter Beinart organized a discussion on “Are Zionists Allowed on the American Left?” October 28. His social media account didn’t seem to mention Sigd. The T’ruah Rabbinic Call for Human Rights has programs where they say that participants discuss and feel connected to Israel. But the group’s Twitter account did not appear to mention Sigd this year. Rabbi Jill Jacobs, head of the group, has wished other groups happy holidays, but Sigd seems absent.

The lack of mention of the holiday is not due to a lack of recognition of other holidays and events, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Hanukkah, which is approaching, is mentioned, for example. The Workers’ Circle, for example, notes “how does the history of Jewish advocacy on behalf of black citizens influence the way we advance racial justice today?” The organization is

“A proudly progressive, diverse and inclusive community rooted in Jewish culture and social action for over a century.” However, it didn’t seem like Sigd was mentioned this year.

The New York Times it had an article on the “collapse of American Zionism” and a “new generation of Jewish leaders.” It is unclear how many of these new leaders mention the diversity of Jewish communities in Israel or the holiday of Sigd, but a review of social media linked to some of the names in the articles does not appear to show appreciation for the holiday. The National Council of Jewish Women retweets articles on weekly Torah reading and one of its chapters wishes people a happy Diwali. Sigd seems absent.

In some contexts, American Jews are having a lively discussion about how to find “new ways to deal with Israel,” the title of Dov Waxman’s review of several books that were recently published in The New York Times. One of those books is from the CEO of the New Israel Fund. The book is called “Can We Talk About Israel?” And it promises to be a “guide for the curious, confused, and confused.” However, it is not clear that the new discussion about Israel includes most of the Jewish communities in Israel, such as Ethiopian Jews, either in the discussion or even mentioning their holidays. Neither Dov Waxman, a critic of the books, nor the New Israel Fund seemed to mention Sigd in recent weeks among their many tweets. The NIF is “the leading organization promoting and protecting liberal democracy in Israel,” according to its Twitter account. Liberal democracy would appear on every holiday, like Sigd, since liberal values ​​are generally assumed to include all groups.

The Republican Jewish Coalition recently held a large annual leadership meeting with Republican heavyweights. The group did not appear to mention Sigd on social media, and organizations on the other side of the political aisle, such as Jewish Women Democrats for Action, also seemed absent from mentioning the holiday.

The contrast of recognition with respect to the Ethiopian Jewish holiday is interesting. Although some of the major Jewish organizations pride themselves on connecting with Sigd and the Ethiopian Jewish community, the official holiday in Israel appears to be absent from the social media of organizations claiming to be interested in diversity. This contrast, between how Israel embraces diversity and how some groups in the US who claim to embrace diversity exclude Ethiopian Jews and other Jews in Israel, illustrates how, despite the claims of the discussion about Israel, there are very little knowledge about the depth of Israel. communities.

It seems that Israel’s various holidays, including Sigd, do not interest those who speak most about diversity in the US This contradiction may be due to the fact that acknowledging diversity in Israel does not come across a narrative that prefers a more representation shallow of Israel. This is out of step with the wider acceptance of diversity taking place elsewhere in the US. The US Central Command’s decision to expand its tweets into Hebrew, Arabic, Kurdish, and other languages, to the time that acknowledges the experiences and holidays in a swath of countries in the Middle East, is evidence of that American embrace of diversity in the Middle East.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *