SHAVU BANIM Center – ETHIOPIAN JEWRY HOUSE, is a cultural and spiritual center operated by the SHAVU BANIM organization – a nonprofit amuta (NGO). The center was established in 1994 by a joint initiative of the Beersheba Municipality, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Hayesod (UIA), the Sacta-Rashi Foundation, and members of the Ethiopian community of Beersheba, with support from Mr. Albert von Springer and Friends of Israel in Switzerland and Germany.
|The center consists of three adjacent buildings: a synagogue, a mikveh (ritual bath), and a community center, which comprises an event hall, a child daycare center, a ceramics and pottery center, a computer room, a heritage room, and a number of activity rooms.
The Shavu Banim Mission
v To provide social services to the Ethiopian community of Beersheba
v To preserve the heritage of Ethiopian Jewry
v To help the new generation of Ethiopian-Israeli Jews connect to their heritage
v To help meet the special cultural, educational, and spiritual needs of the Ethiopian Jewish community
v To help integrate Ethiopian Jews into Israeli society and culture
The center organizes and hosts holiday celebrations, parties, and unique Ethiopian festivities.
The center, in collaboration with the Ben-Gurion University Open Houses Project, offers enrichment activities and courses for children, youth, and adults such as: art classes, gymnastics, religious classes, assistance with schoolwork, and so on.
||Kat-Gan Shavu Banim – child daycare center
In collaboration with the Department for Community Social Work of the Beersheba Municipality and the PACT Project (JDC-Israel), the Shavu Banim Center operates a child daycare center for children aged 1.5-3, which is open Sundays through Thursdays, 7:00-15:45, and Fridays, 7:00-13:00.
Ceramics and pottery center
With the assistance of Amutat Yahdav, a workshop for clay art was created. This ceramics and pottery center offers ceramics workshops for parents and children, and courses in ceramics and clay sculpture that combine traditional ethnic as well as modern techniques. The center also markets unique Ethiopian works of art through the internet and in arts-and-crafts fairs that are held before holidays.
Visits and workshops
The center offers tours and workshops for groups interested in learning about the heritage of Ethiopian Jewry.
Eshet Hayil Project
Together with the Department for Community Social Work of the Beersheba Municipality, the center hosts the activities of the Eshet Hayil Project for the advancement of Ethiopian women, including enhancing their participation in employment. Meetings are held on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
|Ethiopian Embroidery Club
Together with the Department for Community Social Work of the Beersheba Municipality, the center operates an Ethiopian Embroidery Club that meets on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 9:00-12:30.
PACT's Community Center
The center hosts extracurricular activities for parents and children operated by the PACT Project (JDC-Israel) and the Department for Community Social Work of the Beersheba Municipality. The activities take place on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays, 16:00-18:00, and include: an hour of free play and assistance with schoolwork, and various courses such as: Animals, Art, and Music.
||Ethiopian Embroidery Project
Together with Amutat Esra, this project enables unemployed Ethiopian women of the community to gain income by selling their embroidery works. For further information see:
Together with the Department for Community Social Work of the Beersheba Municipality, the Center hosts the Shmaglot Project which revives a traditional mediation and arbitration institution intended to resolve domestic conflicts. Meetings are held Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:00-13:00.