Join the Atlanta Israel CoalitionHerut North America, and our promotional partners as we welcome our featured guest, Naftali Aklum who will enlighten us about Sigd (Hebrew: סיגד‎), one of the unique holidays of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewish) community celebrated on the 29th of Cheshvan, exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur.

Since 2008, Sigd has been recognized as a state holiday for all Israelis. In Israel today, it is celebrated for an entire month leading up to the 29th of Cheshvan, and it is an opportunity to raise Ethiopian Jewish visibility and educate Israeli Jews about Beta Israel customs.

This year, this Ethiopian Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Sunday, November 15th, 2020, and concludes at sundown on Monday, Nov 16, 2020.

Sigd is thought to be the date on which God first revealed himself to Moses. It celebrates accepting Torah and one of its overriding themes is yearning for the Temple.

Read more about Sigd customs here.

Jerusalem Post video.

Naftali was born in Ethiopia in 1979, the youngest of 12 siblings. His brother Ferede Aklum z”l was determined to reach Jerusalem, and set out from Ethiopia in 1978 on a long, dangerous trek through the desert, ultimately reaching Sudan. From there he wrote a letter asking for help to make aliyah. The letter found its way to Menachem Begin, who then set in motion the remarkable, secret operation that came to be known as Operation Moses, an operation in which North American Jewry were to play a crucial role. One of the over 8,000-12,000 Ethiopian Jews to literally follow in his brother’s footsteps, Naftali reached Israel with his family in 1980, at age one, thus fulfilling a dream that had been kept alive for 2,500 years. The family settled in Be’er Sheva, where Naftali was raised and educated. After completing his army service as a firefighter, he went on to study politics, government, history, and Middle Eastern studies at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, graduating in 2008. Naftali took part in several delegations, including a visit to the United States with the Anti-Defamation League in 1996, and in 2002 spent a year with the Israel at Heart organization sharing the story of Israel and Ethiopian Jewry. He is a committed volunteer, helping children at risk in Be’er Sheva through the city’s Council for the Well Being of the Child, and is a mentor to other Ethiopian-Israeli academics, helping them in their job placement efforts. Naftali was an image consultant for a movie on Netflix “The Red Sea Diving Resort”.

Learn more about Naftali

Please REGISTER in advance for this November 13th webinar at

Celebrate Sigd

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