We recently launched a new storytelling/oral history series with members from the Kalisher Absorption Center in Be’er Sheva, which serves the Ethiopian immigrant community. Sitting in the godjo (mud hut) we built in the Kalisher Community Garden, we have a men’s group and a women’s group of 10 to 15 people each that will meet three times each over the course of a few weeks. With the help of a Hebrew translator, participants each share stories about life back in Ethiopia and coming to Israel.

Ethiopian Storytelling at Earth's Promise

Each session is tape recorded and our goal is to transcribe the stories and compile in a book that will be available in Amharic, Hebrew, and English.

Ethiopian Storytelling at Earth's Promise

The overarching theme of the narratives is how grateful each person is to be in Israel. Speaking into the tape recorder in front of their peers, the men and women share the trials and tribulations that they faced back in Ethiopia, and what it was like to move to a completely foreign country.

Ethiopian Storytelling at Earth's Promise

It’s been a privilege to hear their stories, and we’re looking forward to the remaining sessions in the garden.

Ethiopian Storytelling at Earth's Promise

Photos by Katherine Martinelli