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Baruch Tegegne Z”L 

Support for Ethiopian Students: More Vital than Ever

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build a new generation of Ethiopian-Israeli leadership that can carry and sustain the community going forward.”

Yaffa Tegegne

Baruch Tegegne Fund for Ethiopian Students

Twice over the past thirty-seven years, the world has witnessed the miracle of the homecoming of the Jewish people from Ethiopia.

This community, which now numbers over 150,000, brought with it its own customs, traditions, and distinct way of life – and has thus enriched the Jewish experience of the entire nation. While the story of their immigration to Israel is one of great bravery and perseverance, their integration into Israeli society has fraught with unique challenges.

Despite the increase in success stories, today, approximately half of all Israelis of Ethiopian descent live under the poverty line – a situation resulting from the diverse social, cultural, language and economic barriers they face.

On the educational front, students of Ethiopian still represent less then 2% of students in Israel, a relatively low rate compared with their rate in the general population in the relevant ages.   While statistics show an upward trend in the number of students of Ethiopian origin obtaining a post-secondary education in Israel, they typically attend smaller, more local schools and colleges, and are underrepresented in major universities.

It is against this backdrop, that Montreal philanthropist and first Tel Aviv University Governor of Ethiopian decent, Yaffa Tegegne, and her husband Benjamin Ahdoot, believe that the most effective way to do so is by increasing the number of scholarships available, and by providing holistic support to students from the Ethiopian community, from the admissions stage and throughout their studies.

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