Newsletter 12 - November 2017

Nov. 2017, KHA Newsletter- Vol. 12         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 our American donors a happy Thanksgiving holiday. 
 
 
 
Nov. 2017, KHA Newsletter- Vol.12 הרשמה לרשימת התפוצה בעברית
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At this Thanksgiving holiday please consider GIVING to KHA. Please make a tax-deductible gift today. 
An Interview with Ronit Mekonnen:
Education as the Key to Success
 
Ronit’s passion for studies and assisting her community are palpable.  She speaks with conviction and warmth about the value of education and her desire to help Ethiopian Israelis advance in Israeli society.
Ronit was born in Israel and is one of 7 children; six girls and a boy.  She was the first child born in Israel in her family. In December 1990, her family made Aliyah with Operation Solomon and lived in an Absorption centre in Beer Sheva until she was four years old. She has many visceral memories of that period and fondly describes the desert sand everywhere in her childhood.
She continues in detail illustrating out loud how that area became a new neighborhood, a “real neighborhood” with many immigrants. Her mother did not want her to attend school in boarding schools, as many of her peers’ studied, rather in religious settings.  Ronit fondly recounts her “Aliyah experience” through her parents’ stories.  Since she was in fact born here, she feels there is a gap between her childhood experiences and those of her siblings who were born in Ethiopia.  The example she provides is of her eldest sister’s marriage in Ethiopia at a young age and the fact that no one here in Israel was able or willing to understand that reality.
Ronit prides herself on being very close with her family and missing her father who passed away just last year. Her mother’s family was already in Israel prior to their Aliyah and as such, they felt a sense of security growing up here with nearby ties.
Following high school, Ronit did a year of voluntary service with the Maasey centre which works to close gaps between students in the periphery and centre of the country. She volunteered in Hadera for one year with Middle School students in special education helping with literacy and basic remedial skills.  She recalls it was interesting and challenging work, as the students had real behavioral issues.  Almost 80% of the kids came from either Ethiopian or Kafkazi backgrounds. Additionally, Ronit worked with at risk girls in an after school program which mandated the prevention of kids wandering the streets in the afternoon and evening hours. The girls ranged in age from 11-17 and were part of families who were receiving assistance from the Welfare department.
In her army service, Roint served with Gadna for a year and a half in Kiryat Yam.  She was assigned to the Miftan School for Criminal Youth with adolescents ages 11-18.  In the afternoons she would also volunteer with Ethiopian youth. 
Approximately two years later, she began studying social work at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and was confronted with a decision between studying social work and/or education, both of which strongly appealed to her. At that time, she met with Naava an advisor at the Start Up L ‘Hatzlacha program in Beer Sheva.  They discussed her strengths and options.  Currently, Ronit is in her third year of studies and volunteers with Start Up and loves giving back to her community! Her position involves advising Ethiopian Israeli studies about their educational options. She grapples with questions around the amount of Ethiopian students studying at the University and works hard to encourage students to overcome their fear of change and advance in their lives through academic education.  She works closely with students and talks through their concerns.  She offers support and practical advice and sees herself as a role model.
 
Ronit is grateful to have learned about Keren Hanan Aynor and sees the organization as a significant partner in her success.
Ronit currently volunteers with a battered women’s shelter, as well as with Start Up and is completing her social work degree.  She prides herself on hard work, meaningful days and significant change for the future.
We at Keren Hanan Aynor and Start Up view her success as a testament to the power of education as a key for social change and commend Ronit on her vision and commitment to her community.
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
Nov. 2017, KHA Newsletter- Vol.12         הרשמה לרשימת התפוצה בעברית
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What Else is happening at Keren Hanan Aynor?
Statistics
  • 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 23 years, Keren Hanan Aynor has helped to close this education gap by distributing more than 3,200 scholarships and supporting more than 1,700 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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