The Ethiopian community in Israel is unique in a number of respects, but one that stands out is how it held fast to its Jewish beliefs despite being isolated from the mainstream Jewish world for millennia.

Having come to Israel in the 1980s and 90s, many of its dreams remain unfulfilled. That’s where the worldwide Hadassah community has taken charge. We made it our mission to help young Ethiopians better integrate into Israeli society through the medium of health.

It begs the questions: What makes the Hadassah Ethiopian Nursing Scholarship program so invaluable? Why are we committed to raising significant funds to support the campaign?

The sad facts about our Ethiopian-Israeli community speak for themselves –

  •  nearly a quarter of Israel’s 144,000 Ethiopian Jews currently live below the poverty line
  • Ethiopian-Israelis earn just half the average wages of all wage earners in Israel
  • 18 Percent of Ethiopian-Israeli men and 26 Percent of Ethiopian-Israeli women are employed as unskilled workers compared to three percent among the total Jewish population
  • The number of Ethiopian-Israeli women aged 30-33 with an academic degree is almost half that of other Jewish women in the same age range, and
  • only eight percent of Ethiopian-Israeli men aged 30-33 hold an academic degree compared to 29 percent of other Jewish men of the same age

How can we help overcome this situation?

We would like your support to deliver up to 20 five-year nursing scholarships to the Ethiopian community, each valued at $120,000. This initiative helps overcome one of the key problems facing students with an Ethiopian background – the culturally-biased psychometric test that screens students prior to acceptance into an undergraduate degree.

One way is to create your own Giving Circle for collective support of one Hadassah Ethiopian Nursing Scholarship.

The Hadassah Ethiopian Scholarship program provides an alternative pathway to university entrance and enables the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University admissions committee to identify candidates who are highly motivated, have an aptitude for nursing and feel passionate about the profession. Students undertake a preparatory year involving special courses with mentors providing them with the skills necessary to achieve a higher education degree. Students who pass the preparatory year are automatically admitted to the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, with support provided to ensure academic and personal success.

What an amazing achievement for the graduates – not only the promise of steady employment in a health-care system that is crying out for additional nurses, but economic security and financial independence to change the individual and the community. “To be a nurse is to be at the coalface of community health and to represent the best values Israel offers” said Hadassah Australia President, Ron Finkel AM.

Please consider creating a Giving Circle with like-minded friends.

View the case for support here or read about the launch of the Hadassah Ethiopian Nursing Scholarship program.