Newsletter 7 - September 2016

Sept. 2016, KHA Newsletter- Vol. 7         הרשמה לרשימת התפוצה בעברית
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Dear Friends, Alumni and Supporters, 
The staff, board members, students and volunteers at Keren Hanan Aynor would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very sweet New Year, Shana Tova  U' Metuka.  May this Jewish New Year be filled with good health, joy, prosperity, learning and growth.
Alemtzahai Tasama
"I'm a role model for my children and their children to come"
Alemtzahai is enthusiastic and forthcoming about her life when I interview her.  She speaks with a passion for learning and making something of herself that is genuine, warm and contagious.
From our conversation, I sense she is an incredibly determined and independent woman who overcomes challenges to achieve her goals.
Alemtzahai refers to herself as a "unique mother", as opposed to a single mother, as she claims this terminology suits her better.  She has two children; a fourteen year old daughter and an eight year old son.  They have been living in Eilat for the past 15 years and she proudly claims she is one of very few Ethiopian Israelis in the seafront city.
She recounts her journey from Ethiopia on Aliyah to Israel as a five month old baby strapped to her mother's back. Although she doesn’t remember many details, she assures me that even at this tender age, the journey helped shaped the woman she has become today.
She shares with me some thoughts about her childhood in Kiryat Gat, of her parents and 7 siblings, all of whom were mostly raised by her amazing mother, as her father died at a young age.
Alemtzahai recently completely a Mechina program and works part time in a private business.  She is due to begin her BA in Middle Eastern Studies at the Eilat Branch of the Ben Gurion University this coming October.
When we discussed her decision to pursue academic studies alongside raising her family and her work commitments, Alemtzahai laughed and said she loves to learn new things and is excited to go back to school and be in that special environment. She wants to further herself financially and expand possibilities for her future career.  She is looking forward to meeting new people and building confidence in her abilities.  Although her siblings have not attended higher education, they are proud of her achievements.  She mentioned how proud she is to be the first in her family who will receive an academic degree.  She went on to say that there is a new place of learning and growth in her home that she has created.  She loves the moments when she can sit alongside her children and they can all study for a test together.
When Alemtzahai turned to Keren Aynor mid - year, she found a warm and supportive ear, a place where she could receive the kind of "home" like feeling she was looking for to help make her dreams come true.  Along with her drive and dedication to succeed in her studies, Keren Aynor promised to be there by her side as she began her academic career.
Alemtzahai expressed her appreciation to Keren Aynor for the generous support and assured me she will go far and make her family proud.  There is no doubt that she will!

A Successful Partnership: Keren Aynor
and Start Up L'Hatzlacha

Dana Tsoar, the Program Director of Start Up L'hatzlacha speaks with such conviction and dedication about the program that it is difficult not to become as enthusiastic as she is.
Start Up was founded in response to the glaring statistics throughout the country with regards to gaps in higher education, including; high academic dropout rates and lack of integration into Israeli society amongst the Ethiopian Israeli community.
For the past decade, Start Up has been offering what Dana refers to "as the appropriate and respectful integration" of Ethiopian Israelis into society through a program which offers its students financial, educational and individual accompaniment as they journey towards completing their academic studies. This ongoing and personal approach, which couples personal support, alongside an academic scholarship, lowers the dropout rate significantly and ensures success. 
There are 140 students in the program studying at academic institutions in Mechina (preparatory) and Bachelor degrees programs in Southern Israel, who greatly benefit from the personal support, scholarships, coaching, workshops and career counseling.
Following their studies, when students may reach a "t in the road", those who arte interested are offered further assistance in career choices and employment options.
Three coordinators are responsible for thirty to forty students each, which ensures personal attention and guidance throughout students' academic careers.
An interesting statistic is the dramatic rise in women who have participated in the program in recent years. This year, over 100 of the 140 students are women whose dedication and vision are inspiring.  These talented and highly motivated students work hard to make a change in their lives and those of their families.
Throughout its existence, the program has been so successful that the Council for Higher Education has now considered branching out and using this paradigm as a model for the entire country.  In doing so, the model will gain attention in the public sphere and in turn, may be a catalyst for future success in educational programming for the Ethiopian Israeli community.
For the past five years, Keren Aynor and Start Up have worked in a fruitful partnership which has enabled more students to reach their academic goals and change their lives. Keren Aynor's scholarship and follow up enhance the scholarship provided by Start Up, thus allowing the student to truly benefit from the financial aspects and the personal guidance, workshops and employment counseling.
"Each time we receive a student in cooperation with Keren Aynor, we are able to help more students and thus create a ripple effect in the community", claims Dana.
Over the past few years, Keren Aynor, in partnership with Start Up, has assisted over 50 students achieve their academic goals.

This past year, Keren Hanan Aynor and Start Up have joined together to assist ten students and together, Dana is optimistic that, "they are destined for a successful future".

 In Memory of Hanan Aynor (z"l):
A Man of Vision, Integrity and Justice


Hanan Aynor (z"l) would be celebrating his 100th birthday this coming October and we, at Keren Aynor, see this as an opportunity to honour his legacy and celebrate his life's work with our students, staff, board, alumni and friends.
Born in Frankfurt, Hanan Aynor (then Hans Sonneborn) left Nazi Germany in 1935 and joined Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov in pre-state Israel. During World War II, he served in the British Army behind enemy lines in occupied France. Following the war, Aynor joined the Aliyah Bet operations in Europe, aiding Holocaust survivors to reach Palestine. His roles were diverse, including serving as the official translator for the ship ״Exodus״ during the months that it was detained in the port of Marseille.
Following the establishment of the State of Israel, Aynor joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over the next four decades he served his country in Brazil, Canada, the United Nations, and twice, as head of the Ministry’s African desk. He also served as ambassador to Mexico, Senegal, and Ethiopia. 
Aynor headed the Israel-Africa Friendship League until his death. During the many years of his work in and on behalf of Africa, Aynor formed a strong attachment to Ethiopia and dreamed of bringing its Jews to Israel. Keren Hanan Aynor has become his legacy, helping to ensure a future for Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
Sept. 2016, KHA Newsletter- Vol.7 הרשמה לרשימת התפוצה בעברית
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Help us start this Jewish New Year with your support.  Please make a tax-deductible gift today. 
Sept. 2016, KHA Newsletter- Vol.7         הרשמה לרשימת התפוצה בעברית
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What Else is happening at Keren Hanan Aynor?
  • According to the 2015 Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics Report, in 2014 there were 2,774 Ethiopian- Israelis enrolled in higher education as compared to 331,650 among the general population.  This represented 9% of the Ethiopian Israeli 20-29 population as compared to 24.7% of the general population.
  • The median age for an Ethiopian student studying for a first degree is slightly higher, 26.5, than among the general population at 25.5.
  • In the past 22 years, Keren Hanan Aynor has helped to close this education gap by distributing more than 3,000 scholarships and supporting more than 1,500 students
  • From 2012-2014, Keren Hanan Aynor supported 160 students among which 66% were raising families while pursuing their degree, and 16% of whom were single parents.
  • In the past 5 years, over 95% of Keren Hanan Aynor students have successfully completed the academic year.
  • In the past 7 years, Keren Hanan Aynor has turned away an average of 51% of qualified applicants due to lack of funds.  
Seeking Volunteers
  • Website and Social Networking Help
  • Alumni Coordinator
  • Social Event Planning
  • Flexible hours with option to help us from home!
Thanks to Our Partners:
The Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust, UK
Young Israel of West Hempstead
To Save a Life Foundation

Paul and Pearl Caslow Foundation

Private Donors
Seeking Volunteers
  • Website and Social Networking Help
  • Alumni Coordinator
  • Social Event Planning
  • Flexible hours with option to help us from home!
Visit us on Facebook
Send us an Email
Watch our video
Visit our Website
 “If it were not for the scholarship which Keren Hanan Aynor provided me, I would not have been able to fulfill my dream of studying and completing a degree.  You convinced me that there are good people out there, and I promise you that I will always continue to study and to learn”
- Keren Wanda, Mother of 3, BA Social Work
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 “If it were not for the scholarship which Keren Hanan Aynor provided me, I would not have been able to fulfill my dream of studying and completing a degree.  You convinced me that there are good people out there, and I promise you that I will always continue to study and to learn”
- Keren Wanda, Mother of 3, BA Social Work

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