Israeli Government to Appoint New Ethiopian Kessim

Ethiopian Keisim

Credit: Mark Nyman

After a prolonged delay, the government has decided to move forward with the formal appointment of new Kessim (traditional spiritual leaders of the Ethiopian community).

In 2018, Israel’s government decided to appoint and fund 20 Kessim to provide religious services to Ethiopian Israelis as well as serve the outsidecommunity. This year, the Ministry of Religious Affairs will move forward to carry out this decision.

In the Fall of 2019, Ono Academic College launched a program to provide 7 Kessim with an academic education in order to assist them in serving their communities and Israeli society at large. The students are completing their third and final year and already making an impact on the country.  For instance, several Kessim have been keynote speakers at national conferences discussing issues of the Ethiopian Israeli community. 

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