New programs at the Ma’ani Center
The Ma’Ani Center of Shavei Israel continues its series of educational and inspiring conferences. These programs are dedicated to various communities all over the globe that lead Jewish lifestyles and reconnect with their lost heritage with the support of our emissaries and teachers. This week was especially full of amazing events that attracted many attendees who came to expand their knowledge and learn more about their brethren from far-flung communities, of rich and exciting histories.
The first conference was held on Monday in the framework of the “Encounters with Bnei Anousim” project that encourages Bnei Anousim from Europe and South America to share their personal stories and experiences. Esther Cediel, this week’s guest speaker, made her way from Madrid to Jerusalem, from her secular and socialist house to the life of a Jewish wife and mother of two.
In her childhood, Esther discovered her Jewish roots and started to research it, making both academic study of the history of Sephardic Jews and their conversion to Christianity, and an official conversion to Judaism under Shavei Israel’s Machon Miriam Institute and the Rabbinate of Israel, that she successfully completed in 2011.
Esther’s story was a great inspiration for those Machon Miriam students who are currently following her example and studying toward their own formal conversion.
The next day, the focus was on Bnei Menashe of India, and Rabbi Chanoch Avitzedek shared with the public his insights of the community’s uniqueness and the processes of its immigration and absorption. His presentation included all the important stages of Bnei Menashe’s long way to the Land of Israel, that is even more important in the context of the upcoming Aliyah later this year.