Children from the UJIA Ethiopian Bar & Bat Mitzvah group displayed their retail skills to raise £1,500 to help Jewish Ethiopians enjoy the same opportunities as they do.
A group of 16 children from the Leeds UJIA Ethiopian Bar & Bat Mitzvah (EBBM) group organised a shopping afternoon to raise funds for its twinning programme. Now in its 10th year, the programme works with up to 40 Ethiopian immigrants of Bar and Bat Mitzvah age living in Kiriyat Bialik, near Haifa, and pairs them with children from the international Jewish community.
Over 100 members of the community turned out to show their support, raising £1,500 to enable Ethiopian children of Jewish descent to enjoy educational, social and development opportunities.
The event was organised in conjunction with parents who arranged for a number of top brands to showcase their wares on the day, including Griege and Wild, Headwear by Claire Baskind and Juliette’s Accessories.
The children prepared a presentation about the importance of the UJIA programme, sharing what they had learned about the plight of Ethiopian Jewry and emphasising the importance of developing a reciprocal understanding of heritage across cultures.
The Surr family were a part of the twinning programme last year in Israel when their daughter Dalia became a Bat Mitzvah. Alex and Ashley Serr opened the event alongside their children, speaking of the incredible work that UJIA do, not only supporting projects in the Leeds community but touching the lives of so many people through its work in the Galil region of Israel.
The programme teaches participants about becoming Jewish adults within their town, as well as within the global Jewish community. Bar and Bat Mitzvah twins learn about each other’s cultures and are encouraged to correspond and form real friendships.