Cushioning their future

The Ethiopian Quilting Project will hopefully become a chain of community-based, money-making co-op factories for traditional patchwork quilts.

July 31, 2013 13:00
Getu Zemene was a successful Ethiopian on hand at the launch of the project.

Getu Zemene 521. (photo credit: Carl Hoffman)

We all have no doubt heard the well-known adage that if you give a man a fish, you have fed him once; but if you teach a man to fish, you have fed him for the rest of his life. Ra’anana resident Terry Mowszowski, however, gives this old bromide an ambitious new spin, declaring, “Teach him how to fish, and he will probably be opening a restaurant soon and employing the best of chefs.”

That is the basic idea behind a new project to help Israel’s struggling community of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. This novel, out-of-the-box initiative involves neither fish nor restaurants, but establishing what will hopefully become a chain of community-based, money-making co-op factories, employing Ethiopian men and women, using new technology to make traditional Ethiopian patchwork quilts. Project organizers believe that these colorful craft objects, already popular and in increasing demand throughout Israel, Europe and the US, promise significant profits if marketed correctly.


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