A little bit about Rivka

“This is really a gift from heaven. I have no doubt that occupational therapy combines all that I love and want to do in terms of my career.”

One of eight children, Rikva's two older siblings and parents came to Israel during Operation Solomon. In a single day in May 1991,  the family of four were among the 14,325 Ethiopian Jewish immigrants who landed in Israel to begin a new life.

Six more children were born to the couple in Israel. Today her mother continues to work, but her father is unable to work for health reasons.

Living in the university dormitory as part of her scholarship has been a real life-saver for Rivka. Besides the fact that there is little private space for studying at home, her grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s recently came to live with the family. Rivka had to relinquish her room to her grandmother and was sleeping in the family's laundry.

Thanks to the full academic, personal and financial support she receives from the Scholarship program, Rivka can focus all her time and energy on her studies.

Rivka was on a different career path until one course triggered her interest in a field she was barely familiar with. She had decided to study special education, but she was fraught with doubts. Then she took a course about how a child’s sensory-motor skills develop as they grow. She felt something click in her mind and heart, and initiated a conversation with the lecturer who happened to have a doctorate in occupational therapy.

Rivka was entranced. It was not long before she decided that she needed to change direction; special education was not her calling. But how could she, now at age 26, attempt to change her academic track? She had already spent her savings on the special education course, and although she had done well in her matriculation exams, the psychometric test remained a barrier to gaining acceptance to an Occupational Therapy Degree.

It was then that she learned about the Hadassah-Achotenu OT program at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine. Rivka applied and was overjoyed when she learned she had been accepted.