This year’s Hullegeb Festival attraction is veteran Ethiopian vocalist Aster Aweke, who will perform at the Jerusalem Theater on December 15.

By Barry Davis (Jerusalem Post) |

Like any wave of immigrants, the members of the Ethiopian community have had their fair share of challenges and all kinds of trials and tribulations connected to finding their place in Israeli society.

However, over the last decade or so, some things have taken a turn for the better, part of which is due to the fact some of the younger members of the community have found ways to express their creative gifts.

The annual Hullegeb Festival, which will take place for the seventh time in Jerusalem from December 15 to 21, features a wide swathe of acts, including several star turns from outside the Ethiopian community.

The festival takes place under the auspices of Confederation House in Jerusalem and its artistic director and general manager Effi Bnaya, who has endeavored to present the Israeli populace with some of the brightest stars in the Ethiopian-Israeli artistic firmament over the years.

“The festival exposes the enormous riches of Ethiopian culture in Israel, the many talents of members of the first and second generations of the Ethiopian aliya,” Bnaya notes. “They are making their unique voice heard in the areas of music, dance and theater, and drawing audiences that are not necessarily from the Ethiopian community.”

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