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Our mission

Keren Hanan Aynor, Supporting Students today, Creating the Leaders of Tomorrow

Welcome to Keren Hanan Aynor

Our mission is to address the needs of the Ethiopian Israeli community.

Keren Hanan Aynor was founded by Sarah Aynor in 1994 in memory of her husband Hanan Aynor, the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia. Our mission is to address the needs of the Ethiopian immigrant community by assisting talented and highly-motivated Ethiopian Israelis to acquire higher academic education and/or advanced professional degrees.

A source of pride

From student to a member of the Israeli parliament, to ambassador – Shimon Solomon a success story


Over the past two decades, Keren Hanan Aynor has distributed over 5,000 scholarships to students in over 90 different fields. Much more than a financial grant, each scholarship empowers an individual student with a critical message of support and encouragement, thus inspiring them to continue to pursue their academic dreams despite their many challenges.

The foundation supports the following students

We are here for you

Contact us

The role of Keren Hanan Aynor in the lives of the students

High School



- Financial support
-Quarterly phone calls
- Telephone support and advice
Tracking grades after each semester
-Annual ceremony in Jerusalem


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News & Updates

Stay up to date on our latest activities and important information.



Scholarship information

Our scholarships

The Aynor Foundation helps talented and motivated Ethiopian Israeli students acquire an academic degree or vocational certificate. The Foundation’s goal is to increase the involvement of these  adults in the Ethiopian community; to help address challenges that may arise, assist with integration into society and the workplace, and promote core leadership for the advancement of the community in Israeli society. The Foundation provides scholarships based on a wide variety of fields of study and accommodates students' skills and abilities.


Requests may be submitted by students who meet the following criteria:

· Students of Ethiopian descent

· Students studying at an educational institute recognized by the Council for Higher Education

· Undergraduate students who are enrolled in a minimum of 12 academic hours a week; graduate or doctoral students; and Open University students who study at least 6 hours a week

·  Students studying for a diploma in a study track authorized by the Aynor Foundation Admissions Committee

·  Undergraduate students who do not receive support from the Student Administration or the Council for Higher Education

Undergraduate students who receive support from the Student Administration or the Council for Higher Education are not entitled to submit a scholarship request.
The criteria reopen every year based on that year’s scholarship budget. We therefore recommend that even those who have registered in the past and did not receive a scholarship, register again this year.
Participation in the Aynor Foundation’s annual scholarship distribution ceremony is a condition for receiving the Foundation’s scholarship.
The Aynor Foundation has several types of scholarships, each of which may have additional criteria.

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Sarah Aynor scholarship

Awarded to a student in the field of theater / cinema.

The Yona Bogale Scholarship

Awarded to a student in the field of psychology.

The “Trail-Blazer” Scholarship

These scholarships are given by Keren Hanan Aynor to students who are beginning studies in a specialized field that is new to Ethiopian students.


Joint program with "Startup"

The Elke Aynor (z”l) Scholarship

In her memory, and to encourage Ethiopian Israeli students to study Communications (Journalism, Television, Radio, Film, etc.)

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Years of working for the community

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Scholarships we awarded in 2022

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Our staff

Get to know us

Sarah Aynor of Blessed Memory

Co-Founder, Honorary Chairperson

Sarah Aynor was born in Tel Aviv in 1925 and passed away in November 2016. She has dedicated her life to strengthening Jewish life in Israel and around the world. Following her graduation from Lewinsky Teachers Seminary, she spent two years in Shfea youth village as a teacher, was sent by the “mosad l’aliya Bet ” to Marseilles France to absorb children in orphanages from North Africa and Europe on their way to the newly born State of Israel. She later established the Women’s Division at Keren Hayesod. Following her marriage to Hanan Aynor and as a mother of two, she served with him at various posts in Canada, US, Africa and Mexico. Following Hanan’s death, she founded and served as the driving force in turning the dream of assisting the newly arrived Ethiopians to acquire an academic degree and successfully become full Israeli citizens. Running the organization out of her home, Sarah became a matriarch to the students: supportive and encouraging, imbued with ideas and advice, all shared with an abundance of care and love. Sarah knew each student by name, knew their families, their field of study, their strengths and where each one could use a helping hand. This was true when there were five students and as true, when there were as many as 270 students.

Tsega Melaku

Retired Chairperson, Journalist

Dr. Tsega Melaku was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to Israel at the age of 16 in 1984. Tsega studied at Bar Ilan University where she completed a BA in Political Science and Sociology. Following this, Tsega continued in academia and was one of the first Keren Hanan Aynor scholarship recipients while completing her MA in business at the Touro College in Jerusalem. She recently completed her PHd in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Adam Mickiewicz. In 2014, Tsega authored a book entitled Not in Our School which documents the racism she faced in her effort to have her children attend a better school. Along with many volunteer committee positions in government, journalism and culture, Tsega serves on Board of the Public Counsel of the Menachem Begin Legacy Centre. Tsega has had an active career in journalism for three decades and has served in various capacities including working for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority both in radio and on television. Tsega is particularly well known for having been both the first woman as well as the first Ethiopian to have directed the popular Israeli Hebrew radio station, Reshet Alef. Tsega has been involved in helping to promote the Ethiopian Israeli community for many years, and among her many projects, has served as the Chief Editor of Fana, an Ethiopian Israeli newspaper which is published in both Amharic and Hebrew. A strong believer in the importance of higher education in order to promote the Ethiopian community in Israel, Tsega has served on the board of directors of Keren Hanan Aynor since 1994, and began her position as Board Chairperson in 2008. Tsega is the mother of two sons, Emmanuel and Yonatan.

Board of Directors


Pnina Agenyahu

Chairperson, Director of Interfaces and Synergy Strategy, Planning and Content Unit, The Jewish Agency for Israel

Pnina Agenyahu is Senior Shlicha of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in partnership with The Jewish Agency. She previously served as director of the Hillel Center at Tel Aviv University, and has extensive experience in public speaking and teaching. In 2014, as Israel marked 66 years of independence with a tribute to women, Pnina was named by Haaretz as one of ‘66 influential Israeli women you should know’.

Amos Aynor

CEO, On-Air Ltd.

As a child of a diplomat, educated in the US and with extensive managerial experience, Amos has broad international connections in Europe, Central, South and North America and is fluent in multiple languages. In 1982, Amos established and served as the CEO of ON-AIR Ltd, one of Israel’s largest broadcast-equipment rental companies, specializing in camera, sound, editing and satellite services for foreign and local TV production companies. He also worked with government offices and private companies to design and produce large commercial, reality, documentary and feature-films media projects. Amos was responsible for successfully managing extensive projects (up to $3 million annually) and has broad knowledge and experience in budgeting, operations, monthly and annual reports and achieving target goals.

Galia Tzabar

Tzippy (Tzippora) Ron

CEO, The Tolerance Organization


Zeev Kaso

Head of the Program for the Advancement of Ethiopian Students and the Development of Social Leadership at the Ono Academic College

Mr. Zeev Kaso, attorney at law is the Head of the Program for the Advancement of Students of Ethiopian Descent in Higher Education and the Development of Social Leadership that was founded 17 years ago at the Ono Academic College. The program was developed to create significant change among Israelis of Ethiopian descent. The over arching goal is the investment in academic education in an effort to assist in their full integration into the Israeli workforce by developing a core leadership in the community and in Israeli society as a whole.

Micha Feldman

Former Head of Jewish Agency in Ethiopia

Since 1970 Micha Feldmann has worked on immigration and absorption, and since 1982 he has devoted his life to bringing the Ethiopian Jews to Israel, and help them in their absorption into Israeli society. Prior to “Operation Salomon” Micha was the head of the Jewish Agency mission to Ethiopia and the Israeli consul there. He took part in “Operation Salomon” that in 1991 succeeded in bringing out of besieged Addis Ababa in one weekend 14,310 Ethiopian Jews. Micha speaks Amharic fluently and knows virtually every Ethiopian family in Israel. He is therefore known as “Abba Micha”. Currently Micha serves as the director of the Ethiopian department within SELAH – the Israel Crisis Management Center, an organization that takes care of New Immigrants from Ethiopia and the FSU, who were stricken by tragedy.

Rachamin Elazar

News anchor and radio presenter on Kan Radio Reka in Amharic. Ethiopian Israel Community activist in the framework of the Ethiopian Jewish Association in Israel and later in other organizations such as the Public Council for Ethiopian Jews.

Zvi Ginosar


Zvi is a Senior Hi Tech executive with 30 years of experience. He held business management positions in the Israeli Government (Finance Ministry) and private companies (Intel, Numonyx and Micron Technology) with focus on Commercial, Financial and Strategic areas. Currently engaged with multiple Israeli Hi Tech companies related to their strategic initiatives. Zvi is active in volunteering of governance work for Bezalel Academy of Art (Past) and Alyn Hospital (Current). Zvi joined the Keren Hanan Aynor Board of Directors in 2011. Zvi holds a BA in Economics and an MBA both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is married with 3 children and currently lives in Mevasseret Zion.

Haim Confino

Business development

VP, CEO and Director at high-tech companies for 20 years. He established and managed complex projects valued at tens of millions in third world countries. In 1989, he was Israel’s emissary to Ethiopia. He was involved in the political efforts to renew the relations between Israel and Ethiopia, help the Jews of Ethiopia immigrate to Israel and establish the embassy in 1990. In 1991, he took part in the planning and implementation of Operation Solomon. Afterward, he helped lay the foundation for relations with the new government. Between 1994-1997, Confino was the regional representative responsible for Ethiopia, among other areas. He assisted the embassies with immigration issues. In 2003, as part of his position at a high-tech company, he founded the Ethiopian passport project for the Ethiopian Ministry of Immigration and managed the connection with this customer on an ongoing basis until 2016. Confino is married, has 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

Yosef I. Abramowitz

CEO, Energiya Global Capital

Yosef I. Abramowitz has worked on behalf of Ethiopian aliya and klita for over 30 years, helped create the Ethiopian students association, organized the first activist conferences for the aliya, was held at gunpoint in northern Ethiopia, and served as #3 on the Atid Ehad Ethiopian Knesset list. He, along with D’vora Greisman, worked closely with Amb. Aynor in designing the global activist campaign that eventually led up to Operation Solomon. Yossi accompanied the Prime Minister on his recent visit to Ethiopia in his role as co founder of the solar industries in Israel and East Africa. Named by CNN as one of the top six Green Pioneers worldwide, Yossi won Israel’s Green Globe award in the Knesset and serves as CEO of Energiya Global, a solar developer. He is married to Rabbi Susan Silverman and they have five children, two of whom are Ethiopian. He can be followed at @Kaptainsunshine

Kobi Bendaluk

COE, InsurTechIsrael

Kobi Bendaluk is a Colonel in the Israeli Defence Forces and holds a Bachelors degree in social sciences and a Masters degree in Law. Kobi is the founder of Reshef, a company of the Migdal Insurance Agency which specialises in special risk insurance policies. Today, Kobi is the Executive Director of InsurTechIsrael . In previous years, Kobi served as a municipal board member of the Shoham Council, as the director of the Municipal committee and board member of the Planning and Building Committes. He also serves on the board of the NGO “Derech Eretz” a preparatory program for youth entering the IDF.

Haggai Erlich

Haggai Erlich is professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University and an academic adviser at the Open University of Israel where he is the head of Middle Eastern History studies. He is the Landau Prize recipient for 2010 in African Studies.

Harel Pinhas

Graduate of Bar Ilan University, with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and an MA in Israel Studies. Mr. Pinchas holds an additional undergraduate degree in Sephardic Judaism in Islamic Countries. He worked at Bar Ilan University as Director of the Exam Department and as a research assistant and speaks Amharic, English, Yiddish, Italian, and of course – Hebrew.

Aveva (Avi) Wodajea

I was born in the Federation of Gondar, a region of Ethiopia (Vagra Dawat), and immigrated to Israel in December of 1984 at the age of 14, through Operation Moses. I studied at the Bnei Akiva Meron yeshiva, and after graduating high school enlisted in the Border Police for compulsory service, after which I signed on for an additional two years. After discharge, I began working at Israel Aerospace Industries and then attended Ariel University to improve my matriculation grades and study Behavioral Science and Education. I have three sons and work at Ariel University as the Dean of Students’ Student Coordinator.


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Keren Agasi Amy

Digital Content

Amy Dover is committed to the values of tikkun olam and education for social change and has practiced them both professionally and personally from a young age. In recent years, Amy founded “Simu Lev”, an organization matching North American donors with non-profits in Israel. The vision arose following twenty years of professional experience in the field of non-formal education and volunteer work with social justice and international development organizations in Israel, Canada, Central America and West Africa. Amy has many years experience working in the educational milieu with marginalized populations, community programming, service learning, as well as a very deep and meaningful connection with the Ethiopian community in Israel. Amy holds a BA in English Literature and Communications Studies from York University and a MEd in Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, including cultural memory practices from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Additionally, Amy studied Phototherapy at the Naggar School of Photography, Media and New Music, Musrara Jerusalem and has worked in the therapeutic arena using photography, texts and theatre for the past nine years. Additionally she is a trained childbirth educator and facilitates private groups in Jerusalem. In 2000, Amy made Aliyah from Canada. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband and their four sons. She is very excited to be working with Keren Hanan Aynor as a Communications Officer.

Shiran Adiso

Student coordinator

Let's be a part of their success!70% of our scholarship recipients are women96% of our scholarship recipients are Ethiopian born85% of our scholarship recipients are parents59 % of our scholarship recipients are studying a bachelor's degree26% of our scholarship recipients are studying a master's degree13% of our scholarship recipients are studying in a certificate program or other professional program38% of our scholarship recipients are in the education/teaching certificate/ social work fields17% of our scholarship recipients studied the social sciences/humanities12% of our scholarship recipients studied medicine/nursing96% of our scholarship recipients are currently employedOur dropout rates are significantly lower than the national dropout rates amongst students in institutions of academic study throughout the country

66% of student’s requests are being refused by KHA each year due to lack of funds. Be a part of their success!

Our donors


Over $ 25,000

$ 15,000 to $ 25,000

$ 10,000 to $ 15,000

Up to $ 10,000


This year KHA has a special program in cooperation with “Start-Up”. The program begins its seventh year of operations in the South of Israel and seeks to advance higher education amongst young Ethiopian Isarelis.

Students, who meet the following criteria can participate in the program:

  • Ethiopian youngsters who are learning academic studies, preferably married / with families / single mothers.
  • Living / learning in the South of Israel.
  • Students who don’t receive a scholarship from the Students Administration Office in Israel.
  • Students accepted to the program would receive a scholarship in the amount 5,000NIS, tutoring if needed, personal support throughout the year and empowerment workshops.

Scholarships for Communications Studies – Elke Aynor

Special Scholarships for Communications Studies – Elke Aynor Memorial Scholarships:

Elke Aynor, who was the daughter-in-law of Hanan Aynor, immigrated to Israel from Mexico in 1981. She worked in Israeli television and for Channel 2 News, running several educational programs in Jerusalem at various organizations. In her memory, and in order to encourage Ethiopian immigrants to study communications subjects (Journalism, Television, Radio, Film, etc.), the foundation established this scholarship for students who excel in this field.

In 2021, the Elke Aynor Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Shelly Solomon, a student pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Education.