Even as thousands of Ethiopian Jews in Israel prepare to celebrate Sigd, a special holiday to commemorate years of waiting to return to the Holy Land, many still struggle to fully integrate into Israeli society today, reports Rachel Cohen of The Jerusalem Post. This is why The Fellowship started the Azimut program:
“I’ve spoken to Ethiopians in university and they tell of people assuming they are custodians, not students, simply because of the color of their skin,” Tesfay [manager of the Azimut program at The Fellowship] said, as one example of the kind of casual discrimination community members face…
Two years ago the IFCJ implemented its Azimuth program, which aims to help the young generation of Ethiopians.
Before, during and after their army service, Azimuth tries to ensure that these young men and women are given the same opportunities as everyone else. This includes, for example, pre-army courses that help them obtain coveted roles in the IDF or financial planning courses once they are discharged so they are able to handle the daunting responsibilities of adulthood.
Such programs aren’t one-offs. In fact, the IFCJ has invested more than $43 million in these programs in the belief that a fruitful life in Israel doesn’t begin and end with aliya.