THE Roots Trip
A TRANSFORMATIONAL JOURNEY TO ETHIOPIA
As our LOF students approach the end of eleventh grade, they are taken on a 12 day educational trip to Ethiopia where they are given the opportunity to connect with and immerse themselves in their culture and heritage. Students and supervisors travel throughout Ethiopia and learn about the history of Ethiopian Jews and their migration to Israel. During the trip they are able to visit the villages where their family once lived, interact with those who knew their family and/or reconnect with family who remain in Ethiopia.
The roots trip creates a lasting impression on our Israeli-Ethiopian youth. Our students are transformed by the memorable and touching interactions, breathtaking sights and rural culture of an underdeveloped country.
They begin to see their lives and themselves differently, they begin to truly understand the meaning and significance of the Ethiopian migration to Israel. The trip proves to strengthen their Jewish identity and relationship to Israel and the Jewish people. As a result, our students display a more coherent sense of identity, increased self-esteem and an enhanced self-image.
Overall, the roots trip becomes a meaningful milestone on their journey to adulthood and plays a crucial part in shifting their lives for the better as well as determining the role they will play in society.
..transformed by memorable and touching interactions,
and rural culture of an underdeveloped country.
A LARGE SCALE
One of the most widespread issues among Israeli-Ethiopian youth has to do with identity, self-esteem and social status. Israeli-Ethiopian youth often feel they are treated unfairly, looked down upon, and not given equal opportunities. Discrimination in Israel stems from a variety of sources, one of which is ignorance regarding the Ethiopian people, their Jewish identity, ethnicity and historical background. Oftentimes, the Ethiopian community is wrongfully perceived as weak, primitive and an uneducated community which results in scapegoating and discriminatory behavior toward the Israeli-Ethiopian community in Israel. The roots trip empowers Israeli-Ethiopian youth with higher levels of self-esteem, an enhanced self-image, and more coherent sense of identity.
Our participants feel more connected to their Jewish roots and Ethiopian heritage which strengthens their relationship with Israel and Israeli society. As a result, they strive to achieve more and make a greater impact for themselves, the Israeli-Ethiopian community, and Israeli society in general. Israeli-Ethiopian youth who attend the roots trip come back to Israel full of energy, gratitude, and self-confidence; inspired by the experience and excited to share their story with the community.