Busy creating . . . artist Aviva Adanyho

Aviva Adanyho is the brilliant artist whose work will be seen on ESRA’s new note cards soon to be printed and ready for sale. 

During the Passover holiday, I had the opportunity to interview Aviva Adanyho and some members of her family at her home in Netanya.

The apartment sparkles and the hospitality was warm, wonderful and tasty. Nina Zuck (coordinator of ESRA’s community projects) and I were treated to a delicious matza dish as well as the Buniom coffee.

Aviva spoke of her experiences since arriving in Israel and of the traditions of growing up in an Ethiopian family. She was young when she was married and was sent to live with the groom’s family for six years until the marriage was consummated. She related the unique customs of childbirth whereby the new mother of a boy was given 40 days away from the family (births of daughters just 30 days) while she lived in a small hut  nearby. She was cared for by others and the husband cared for the family at that time. Today the tradition continues in that the young mother goes back to the home of her parents for the 40 days where she is coddled and cared for.  Aviva said she used that time for embroidering and other crafts that she has mastered. She told us about the colors she favors - blue, green yellow and black. These are very evident in her work.

Aviva’s family had to give up many of their customs here. However, Shabbat is sacred and no work is done, even after the Shabbat has ended.



Above: Three examples of Aviva’s fabulous embroidery work   

The family’s first three years in Israel were spent on a caravan site near Ofakim. Aviva’s husband, once the deputy mayor of Gondar, had to face the reality of a career and status change, which was very difficult for him. Aviva works at several community centers in the area as a cleaning lady in order to supplement the family’s income and to help in the education of their children. Education is important for all the family. Of her 7 children, 3 have already completed the army and are working and studying; 1 is doing his army service; 2 are in school and the youngest is in kindergarten. The young generation living in the house is blooming. The youngest daughter, will be entering first grade come September and already can spell and lovingly helps care for the 2-year old grandson.. Aviva also has a newborn grandchild

As you will see from the delightful, bright and happy pictures on the new note cards, the future holds much promise… 

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Phyllis Bloch

Phyllis Bloch was born in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at Mills College of Education and received a degree in Early Childhood education. Her Masters degree was from Queens College, majoring in spec...

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