MA in Educational Counseling, Oranim College
My name is Aychesh Itamar. My aliya story began in Ethiopia where I remember hearing about Jerusalem, the famed place where all of the Jews will come together, where no one will want to kill us, and where we will no longer be called ״Falasha״. I made aliya in 1985 with my grandparents at the age of six. I left most of my family behind in Ethiopia, and it was only during ״Operation Solomon״ in 1991 that we were reunited in Israel. My journey here with my grandparents was extremely difficult and I have vivid memories of the hardships and dangers en route. When we finally arrived here I could not believe that I was in Jerusalem, as I had imagined it very differently. My name was changed and all of us were taken to study in an Ulpan. A year later we moved to Nazareth and I began school. The absorption process was very difficult as we were often laughed at by other children. Despite the challenges, I continued my studies in a boarding school, and in 1996 joined the IDF as a teacher-soldier. After my long journey I promised myself that I would work in a meaningful job and I chose the field of education. Today, I am a fourth grade teacher, and I decided to continue my studies toward an MA in Educational Counseling. This year, when I received my scholarship from Keren Hanan Aynor, I felt that I had fulfilled two dreams: to come to Jerusalem, and to pursue my academic goals. The scholarship enables me to do that. Today I am a mother of two first generation Jerusalemites, have completed my BA, and am now studying towards my MA. Each of these achievements has helped me to become a part of the society to which I immigrated as a small child. Without the help of many, none of this would have been possible, and I want to thank all those at Keren Hanan Aynor who are helping the people of our community to integrate into Israeli society. When I look back at the long journey I traveled and what I have achieved today, I feel that it is not only my dream that has come true, but also the dream of my ancestors and all those who were unable to reach Israel.