Beginning in the 1980s, Israel ran a number of secret operations to rescue the Ethiopian Jews and bring them home to a place they’d long dreamed about, the Jewish homeland. It was no easy journey; most Ethiopian Jews had to escape on foot to Sudan before they could board planes for Israel. Ethiopian Jews have had their own challenges in Israel, but have also contributed special things to their new home… like Sigd, which was declared an Israeli national holiday in 2008. In Ethiopia, people would climb to the top of a high mountain on Sigd. When they reached the top, they’d recite prayers expressing the hope that they’d return to Jerusalem. In Israel, the holiday is still observed by climbing to a high elevation, followed by a feast! Ethiopian Jews are adding their own vibrant colors to the patchwork quilt of Israeli culture.