Leaders of the Future
The need for our program arises from the alarming sociological status quo of the Ethiopian Community in Israel and disturbing downward trends. The adjustment process in being transplanted from a patriarchal rural shepherding culture to a modern society has been difficult and sadly destructive to the family structure.
FROM A PATRIARCHAL RURAL SHEPHERDING CULTURE
TO A MODERN SOCIETY
In many cases the parents have been unable to adjust. Consequently, a large proportion of parents work as unskilled and contracted laborers or live on welfare. This reality has diminished their authority and the ability to provide guidance and support to their children which in turn has created a younger generation prone to delinquency in growing numbers.
Even today, 30 years after Operation Moses and despite slow gradual improvement that has occurred over the years, the Israeli-Ethiopian community still lags significantly behind the general population in every social parameter ranging from education to employment.
Today, approximately 135,500 Ethiopian immigrants are living in Israel. Of these, 85,900 were born in Ethiopian and 49,600 born in Israel.
The statistics are cause for concern. In a comparison of achievement gaps, Ethiopian-Israeli children swiftly fall behind their peers, and by the 8th grade the gap is nearly insurmountable, few Ethiopian-Israeli high school students matriculated last year at 5 units of mathematics, an unusually high percentage of Ethiopian-Israeli soldiers end up spending time in jail at some point during their army service and out of 13,800 students enrolled at the Technion only 14 (0.1%) of them are of Ethiopian descent.