Thursday, December 20, 2012
At a celebration of Israel's Independence Day in Chicago last year, a group of Israeli Ethiopian scouts provided the entertainment, including a rousing interpretation of the song Lu Yehi by Naomi Shemer, composer of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold). She wrote Lu Yehi during the Yom Kippur war in 1973. It began as a translation of the Beatles’ song Let it Be and evolved into an independent hit.
The scouts, Tzofei Shva, are part of the Israeli Tzofim (Scouts), the only movement in Israel that is both non-political and non-sectarian. In the past few years, the Tzofim began Project Sh’va to foster the integration of youth from the Ethiopian communities into the Scout movement. There are over 1,500 youth originating from Ethiopia involved in the Tzofim. This represents close to 10% of the Ethiopian youth. Project Shva develops leadership among the participants and assists them in integrating into Israeli society while preserving their traditions and heritage.
In the Tzofim-Shva the kids learn to be proud of who they are. They feel part of the Israeli society and still are part of their cultural heritage. The kids acquire tools in the Tzofim-Shva that serve them throughout their life. Over the last 5 years, the number of Ethiopian youth in the Tzofim has grown by 1000%, from 150 to 1,500. Only 42.7% of the Ethiopian youth in high school complete matriculations and only 70% complete their high school studies, while over 85% of these youth in the Tzofim have completed their matriculations and close to 100% have graduated high school.
And they really know how to dance and sing. Enjoy!
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)