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Great Year of Growth at Kuchinate | שנה של גדילה בקוצ'ינטה


Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Women's Philanthropy Mission, November 2019


שנה טובה ממשפחת קוצ'ינטה לכל חברנו וחברותינו מישראל ומעבר לים.  שתהיה זו שנה של עשייה וברכה לכולנו. עברה עלינו שנה מצוינת של גדילה והתפתחות, וזאת על אף מדיניות ממשלתית נוקשה כלפי מבקשי המקלט.  אנו רוצות לשתף אתכם בכמה מההישגים שלנו השנה' שקרו בזכות חברות וחברים שסייעו לנו רבות.

Happy New Year to all our friends in Israel and abroad. May this be a year full of blessings for us all.  We have had an excellent year of growth and development at Kuchinate in spite of the strict government policy towards asylum seekers. We want to share a few of this year’s accomplishments that we achieved thanks to the growing community of friends and supporters who have helped us survive and flourish.



הכשרה מקצועית ופיתוח מוצרים חדשים  השנה פתחנו בקוצ'ינטה שלוש תוכניות הכשרה מקצועית, שיעורי תפירה, עיצוב בובות, ועיצוב מוצרי טקסטיל.   בעזרת תרומה של מכונות תפירה, אנו מייצרות ארנקים ותיקים, מבדים ססגוניים, בשנה הקרובה מחלקת הטקסטיל שלנו אף עתידה להתרחב- צפו למוצרים חדשים ומרגשים.  תודה למורות, המתנדבות המסורות, טלי בן סירה על המחברות, לאורה בירץ על סדנאות הבובות. ונועה וידמן על שיעורי התפירה. אנו מבקשות להודות לשגרירות הגרמנית על תמיכתם בשיתופי הפעולה המקצועיים.

Professional training and new product development

This year, the women of Kuchinate took part in three training programs: sewing classes, doll design, and textile product design. With the recent donation of new sewing machines from the UNHCR, we are now creating wallets from colorful African fabrics. In the coming year our textile department expects to expand even further. Please look for new and exciting products coming up!  We wish to thank our volunteer teachers, Tali Ben Sira, Laura Birch, and Noa Vidman.

We also wish to thank the German embassy for supporting the new product collaborations.


[ Visit Our Shop ]


"Live Fence", Gil Yifman | Tel Aviv Museum of Art | Photo : Elad Sarig 


שיתופי פעולה אמנותיים  השנה זכינו להישג מרשים. השתתפנו בתערוכות  בשני המוזיאונים המובילים בישראל. ב-מוזיאון תל אביב לאמנות, הצגנו מיצב סרוג, בשיתוף פעולה עם האמן גיל יפמן,  בתערוכתו המדוברת "קיבוץ בוכנוולד", עבודה שאף נרכשה לאוסף המוזיאון, במוזיאון העיצוב בחולון אנו מציגות, בתערוכה הפתוחה לקהל גם בימים אלו, את "גוף העבודה" שיתוף פעולה נוסף עם אמן הבית שלנו, גיל יפמן, בתערוכה "אקסטרים",  שחוגגת עשור למוזיאון. בנוסף, בתמיכת הגלריה ללימודי אפריקה, הצגנו בגלריה בתל אביב, שיתוף פעולה עם אמנית דגלי הוודו מהאיטי מאדאם מורו ורטרוספקטיבה של דגלי וודו מהאיטי.

Artistic collaborations This year we had an impressive artistic achievement: Kuchinate’s work was featured in exhibitions in the top two museums in Israel. At the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, we presented a crocheted installation, in collaboration with artist Gil Yefman, in his solo show "Kibbutz Buchenwald", a work that was then acquired for the museum's permanent collection. In the Holon Design Museum, in an exhibit that is now ongoing, we are presenting another collaboration with artist Gil Yefman in the exhibit "State of Extreme," which celebrates the decade anniversary of this great museum.  You can find out more information about this exhibit. In addition, with the support of the African Studies Gallery in Tel Aviv, Kuchinate worked with Haitian vodou artist Madam Moreau to create a collaboration that was exhibited at the Gallery alongside a retrospective of Haitian vodou flags.

[ Visit State of Extreme ]



מרכז מבקרים שוקק חיים בשנה האחרונה בקרו אצלינו מאות אורחים מרחבי העולם, ביניהם, אנגליה, אוסטרליה, דרום אפריקה, הולנד, מקסיקו, ארצות הברית ועוד. הגיעו אלינו קבוצות מבתי כנסת, כנסיות, פדרציות, קהילות יהודיות, תנועות נוער, הילל, תגלית, אייפאק, הרשויות המקומיות, חברות הייטק כמו פייסבוק וwix  ומאות משפחות ואנשים שעצרו לבקר ולהגיד שלום.  ברצוננו להודות לסוכנויות התיירים:  Kenes, IGT, Da'at, Israel Seminars, Set up, Via Sabra, Telos,I החברה להגנת הטבע, ועוד רבים נוספים על התמיכה המתמדת בנו.  קבוצות אלה אפשרו לנשים להשמיע את קולן, אם דרך שיחות, הוראת סריגה, או הגשת קפה וארוחות מסורתיות. חשוב מכך, קבוצות אלה סייעו לנשים להתפרנס ולספק פרנסה להן ולילדיהן. שתהיה שנה חדשה מבורכת בשותפויות ישנות וחדשות.

Welcoming Groups to Kuchinate This past year, we welcomed hundreds of visitors from around the world, including England, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Holland, Mexico, the United States and more. We have been joined by groups from synagogues, Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, Maccabee Taskforces, Hillel, AIPAC, Taglit/Birthright as well as local officials and representatives from high-tech companies such as Facebook and Wix. Dozens of other groups, families, and individuals have joined us to learn about Kuchinate or stopped in to say hello.  Thank you for your interest and support of Kuchinate! We want to thank the following tourists agencies for their ongoing support in bringing interested groups to Kuchinate: Kenes, IGT, Da’at, Israel Seminars, Set up, Via Sabra, Telos, Giant Leaps, SPNI and more. These encounters have allowed the voices and stories of the women of Kuchinate to be heard, through teaching basket crocheting, serving traditional coffee and meals, and other interactions. Most importantly, visits helped our women earn a living so that they can provide for themselves and their children. We wish you a blessed New Year, and hope that our partnership will continue to grow. 




אירוח ביתי תודה לנשים ולגברים שעוזרים לנו כל שבוע באמצעות אירוח מכירות בית בבתיהם ובעסקיהם. מעבר לסיוע הכספי של מכירת הסלים, אנו חשות מחוזקות מהאירוח החם והלבבי, מכך שאנו נכנסות לבתיהם של מקומיים, לא כמנקות או עובדות, אלה בדלת הראשית, כאורחות של כבוד.

Home Hospitality A big and sincere THANK YOU to all the people who help us week after week by hosting home sales in their homes and businesses. Even beyond the financial boost we get from the sale of baskets, the women of Kuchinate are empowered by the warm hospitality and the feeling of being welcomed into the homes of locals, not simply as cleaners or workers, but as guests of honour, through your front doors. Being welcomed and interacting in this way is significant and powerful for our women. If you are interested in hosting a sale, please contact Ruth at Ruth@kuchinate.com

אסמרת טקללה, מנהלת בקוצ'ינטה במוסף ככלכליסט לקריאה הקלק 

צילום: אוראל כהן

Asmaret Tkalla, Kuchinate manager, was featured in the Israeli magazine Calcalist, describing her experience as a refugee the last decade: Asmaret Tkalla, event organizer and employee at Kuchinate, a Tel Aviv African women's collective selling crochet work. Born in Eritrea, she now lives in in Tel Aviv with her two daughters. What is your daily life like now? I take my girls to kindergarten, I come home and straighten the house, and at 10:30 every day I go to work at Kuchinate.  On Sundays, I take the girls to kindergarten and go to pray at the Eritrean church. What did you do for the first time this past decade? I learned at kuchinate how to make wallets that I plan to sell in my own business. What did you do for the last time this past decade? I was in Eritrea. I left after my dad died. He served all his life in the military, but then he died at home, so we were denied military compensation for his death.   What was the high point of the last decade for you personally? The decision to leave my husband and escape his control. And the low moment? When my husband came to my workplace with a knife to murder me. It happened on January 1, 2015.  He was very drunk that day and he hit me and demanded the money I earned from working that month. We fought, and then I left to go to my job as a cleaner at the Ra’anana Mall in Ra’anana. He came there, drunk, with a knife, and he screamed and threatened to murder me. People at the mall separated us, and I called my employer at the manpower agency who came and removed my husband. Then I went to the police, and I was taken to a battered women's aid center. What scared you the most a decade ago, and what scares you most today? At the beginning of the decade, I fled Eritrea and came to Sudan, where I worked for a year as a slave. I cleaned and cooked in the homes of affluent Sudanese. There I was introduced to my husband, also from Eritrea, who was already in Israel. We corresponded through WhatsApp, and he agreed to pay $3,500 for a Bedouin to smuggle me into Sinai. That is how I managed to leave Sudan. I came to Israel and met him, and at that moment he told me that I belonged to him, and that is what worried me most. Every day he said to me, "I picked you up from the garbage, so you have to do what I tell you." Today, I am still afraid he will catch me and take me back again. What happened this past decade that you thought would never happen?  I did not believe I would leave Eritrea, I did not believe I would escape Sudan, and I did not believe I would get away from my husband. All this happened in one decade. What were you sure would happen that did not happen? Once I had a husband I was sure I would have a family and be happy. It did not happen. What did you want to do in the past decade that you haven’t accomplished yet? I wanted to start a wallet business.  What happened to your body this past decade? My body is devastated, because the whole decade I worked as a cleaner. I was a cleaner in Eilat, Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion – every year I changed cleaning jobs. It wrecked my body. What did you learn the last decade that you didn't understand before? My deepest insight is that despite all the suffering and hardship – in Eritrea, in the Sudan, in the desert, in life with an alcoholic husband who beats you every day and humiliates you and demands you to be his slave – in spite of all of this, I believed in myself and managed to get away from all of this. I realized that my freedom was my struggle.  What do you expect for the next decade? A decade ago I was a slave, and for the next decade I'm going to be a free and strong person. I hope to raise my children and get an education.


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