An empowering seminar for Bnei Menashe
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This week dozens of Bnei Menashe community leaders, coordinators, professionals and Shavei staff gathered in Tiberias for an important all-day seminar. Thanks to Moti Yogev, our liaison in Nof Hagalil, this day, which was sponsored by Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael (KK”L) at their Ya’ar Lavi, and facilitated by Tzvi Khaute, Dalia Netzer, and Moti Yogev, and was an enormous success.
Community challenges were addressed by professionals. Important topics, such as addiction and Hebrew language acquisition were tackled, solutions suggested, specifically as they relate to the Bnei Menashe community in Israel.
Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu delivered a speech and gave blessings for the new year, and Yitzchak Kolney did an important presentation of the Bnei Menashe heritage which gave great insight and beautiful photos of the traditions and culture of the Bnei Menashe.
Having everyone together in one place was so important. Both for efficient communication as well as connecting with each other. The lecturers were highly professional and knowledgeable. An anthropologist spoke about addictions and what can be done, and the importance of treatment. The challenges of language were emphasized, such as the limitations on those with weak or no Hebrew in getting employment, or even in going to a workshop – or treatment for the aforementioned addictions.
A document will be created with the knowledge gained in the seminar, for use of the various communities going forward. The seminar helped to empower and give the community leaders and coordinators the tools they need to continue their work with the Bnei Menashe. This is the first time we have ever done anything like this; the coordinators were thrilled and grateful, and are looking forward to our next seminar!