Building long-lasting bridges, in Israel and beyond

By Dr. Murray Zucker, Israel and Overseas Committee Member

Yifat Ovadya

Yifat Ovadya, founder of Olim B'yachad

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Israel, which as always, was exciting and inspirational. I wanted to share with you a very moving experience we had visiting Olim B'yachad. Yifat Ovadya, who presented to our group here in San Francisco a few months ago, invited us to see one of the training sessions in Tel Aviv. The Ethiopians in the class were so enthusiastic, fun loving, gracious, bright and motivated. The instructors and mentors represented everything wonderful about Israel. One mentor was the head of HR at Teva and felt this was the most meaningful thing she's every done in her life. Teva now employs a significant number of Ethiopians and the program is succeeding in making it 'cool' in Israeli corporate culture to hire Ethiopians. We can all be proud to have a part in this program - an immeasurable return on investment.


34 year-old Ethiopian-Israeli Yuval Getahun found a job through Olim B'yachad

A few days later in Rosh Pina our son hosted a 'reunion' of his Manhigutisrey group (he was a Diller teen 7 year ago). They have kept up their relationships and many of the families of the Diller Teens have relationships with the families of the Manhigutisrey group. It was a very moving scene and "building bridges" at its best. The Manhigut alumni were very eloquent about what they got out of the program and how they have taken the learned experience of pluralism/diversity and shared it with others as well as incorporated it into their lives. I am sharing these vignettes because I think sometimes we may lose sight of the success and long-lasting impact of programs like these that our Federation supports.

Stories from Israel Federation donors are having an impact on the lives of Israelis every single day. Meet them now.
Categories: Endowment, Israel, Teens


August 30, 2011


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