Israelis You Should Know: Pnina Tamano-Shata | IFCJ
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Israelis You Should Know: Pnina Tamano-Shata

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Name: Pnina Tamano-Shata

Age: 33

Family: Married with two children

Known for: She was the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a Knesset seat.

About her: Pnina Tamano-Shata was born in Ethiopia in 1981, and she made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with her family when she was 3 years old as part of Operation Moses. Her family spent a few years living in an absorption center, and in 1988 they moved to Petah Tikva, where Tamano-Shata still lives today.

In high school, Tamano-Shata was admitted to a program for gifted students, and after her army service, she studied law at Ono Academic College, where she was deputy chairman of the Ethiopian Student Union. 

After she graduated, she worked as a correspondent for Israel's Channel One for several years. But she began to feel like she wanted to be involved in politics, rather than simply reporting on political issues. She joined the Yesh Atid party, and in 2013, became a Knesset member. She was the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a Knesset seat, and her interests were primarily promoting legislation regarding equality and affordable housing.

In 2015, the Yesh Atid party reduced its number of seats and Tamano-Shata lost her seat in the Knesset.

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