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After-School Enrichment Programs for Ethiopian Immigrant Children

Absorption into Israeli society and integration into Israeli culture is trying for every immigrant, particularly for those coming from countries of distress.  For thousands of Ethiopian Jews, the Jewish Agency for Israel is providing the programs and assistance that are helping them transition to their lives in Israel, enabling them to fully integrate and acclimate to their new homeland.

For Ethiopian immigrants, the gaps between life in Ethiopia and Israel present significant educational, social, and personal challenges.  An estimated 75% of Ethiopian Israelis are marginalized by poverty, unemployment, and their inability to live independently.  Just as alarmingly, nearly one quarter of Ethiopian-Israeli teens do not complete high school—further perpetuating the cycle of inopportunity and disadvantage.

The Jewish Agency for Israel 's YESODOT (Heb: Foundations) program helps Ethiopian youngsters, from pre-school through 12th grade, achieve new levels of personal and academic success through education and social intervention.  YESODOT’s scholastic track focuses not only on Hebrew and Israeli-culture, but prepares students for Israel's educational system through inter-disciplinary workshops, mentoring, formal and informal educational programs, and learning enhancement opportunities. Activities take place in the supportive environment of Jewish Agency absorption centers — a venue in which the immigrants feel comfortable and familiar.

YESODOT success stories are abundant. Take for example, Gitachau Asnakau, a 14 year-old 8th grader who made aliyah with his siblings and mother in 2005.  When his mother passed away, Gitachau and his older sister took charge of raising their seven younger siblings.  Gitachau acts as an authority figure for the children, and helps them with their schoolwork.  He participates in Yesodot after school activities in Kalisher Absorption Center in Be'er-Sheva where he does his math and Hebrew homework, participates in gymnastics, karate, computers and more.  In addition, he meets with a personal tutor twice a week for homework help.  His teachers report that Gitachau is a very good student, highly motivated, and making great progress. Gitachau wants to succeed in Israel, and dreams of serving in the Israeli army after high-school.

Read more about YESODOT's impact in our recent program evaluation

Funding Opportunities for Your Community

YESODOT offers today’s Ethiopian children and youth a more positive and enriching future by bolstering their educational experience, YESODOT truly transforms the landscape of Israeli society. To support this transformative program, click here.

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Thursday 17 April, 2014 (c) All rights reserved to the Jewish Agency יום חמישי י"ז ניסן תשע"ד