The Gedams, or hidden synagogues of Beta Israel of North Shewa are spread out throughout the North Shewa regions of Amhara and Oromia. The Gedams are in isolated locations near rivers, as they were hidden out of fear. These complexes are sort of monasteries that house elderly and orphans. In the pictures are Aba Firde of Gizo Gedam and Aba Kidane of Jambaria Gedam. The two are working with us to develop various programs to support the communities and the Gedams.
Near Debre Berhan, North Shewa, Amhara, Ethiopia we are working with several Gedams, supporting the strengthening of these religious centers of the community. Our work is being supported by Shalom Corps, a global volunteer movement dedicated to meaningful service and social responsibility as an expression of the values of Judaism and love of humanity.
The program, Adopt A Gedam is providing technical support via CultivAid and local volunteers via the local community. The specific projects per Gedam aim to strengthen these institutions and its community. At Gizo Gedam, we are helping address issues of safety and the Gedam’s longevity by protecting the center from falling rocks from surrounding cliffs. The project has 2 phases, first we are establishing terraces and a protective barrier. The second stage will implement a landscape design, planting various trees and crops to support beatification of the site and stabilize the soil.
The Beta Israel community of N. Shewa turn out to support the Shalom Corp’s, “Adopt a Gedam”, first project, in Debra Brehan. Volunteers construct a chimney for the smoke room of the women’s cooperative pottery workshop. Word has spread to the Gedams (Jewish spiritual centers) in the region, and now other joint projects will begin in a few weeks.
Kol Hakavod to the Shalom Corp.
Shalom Corp leadership welcomes volunteers and community leaders.
Parts for the chimney come together.
Left to right, Michael Moges, (Purchasing Manager), Yenenesh Manaye, Mekdes Alaye, Enatfanta Fetene, Helina Engeda (Manager of Operations), Belayneh Tazebku (Marketing Director), look on as the first face mask is produced at the LOZA manufacturing facility in their synagogue, in Kechene Ethiopia. Besides employing members of the community, proceeds will be used for COVID-19 related needs, and some face masks will be donated to the local clinic.