August 13, 2012
On August 14th, 2012, Israel At Heart marked its 10th year of activism for Israel at the new port of Tel Aviv, Israel. Over the past years, we have sent over 800 students on delegations around the world to share their personal experiences living in Israel. During the event, three Israel At Heart alumni shared with the audience how the experience had impacted their lives. Ethiopian Israeli students from theIsrael At Heart fellowship program at the IDC shared how the opportunity to study and gain higher education changed their lives . Leading Israeli artists and bands who traveled on a tour with Israel At Heart- Avraham tal , lvri Lider, and Hatikva 6 had performed at the event . Among many of our participants were also the Israel At Heart African students who received scholarship from Israel At Heart . We hope the next upcoming years will also be full of activism, as we aim to promote a better understanding of Israel and help create a better society in Israel.
For pictures... Read more
April 24, 2012
In April 2012 our first delegation of six Ethiopian Israeli students from the Israel At Heart fellowship program from the IDC to Ethiopia . The purpose of the delegation was to promote a better understanding of the Ethiopian community living in Israel and also provide an opportunity for the students to visit places where the Jewish community lived and learn more about the history of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Ethiopia.
Our students visited Addis Ababa , Gonder and Bahir Dar . They met with students from different universities and high schools and shared their personal story and experience living in Israel . For many of the younger generation it was the first time they were exposed to the history of Ethiopian Jews and learn more about israel and the current condition of the Ethiopian -Israeli community . In addition many of the questions were about racism and identity in regards to their feelings about Ethiopia .
While in Gonder the students visited the villages... Read more
January 22, 2012
In 2011 , we provided 12 outstanding students a scholarship to attend the Interdisciplinary Center College in Herzylia. The students come from Eritrea, the Darfur region of Sudan, and Somalia .The students awarded the scholarships study government, psychology and communication. By providing them with a scholarship, we hope to help provide these students with a bright future for themselves and their communities
In addition we supported several social projects involving the African refugee community in Israel. These projects included sponsoring a community center that facilitated a community atmosphere that responded to community needs. The community center serves as a focal point for activities reaching women, children and others in the community. The center offers English courses, after-school programming for children, hosts a women’s empowerment course, serves as the site for community events and meetings and is the... Read more
March 20, 2011
A black Ethiopian travels to America to foster a better understanding of Israel
Topic: Israel Through The Eyes of an Ethiopian Jew
Special guest: Rami Yaakov
Israel at Heart (www.IsraelAtHeart.org)
Israel at Heart is a non-profit organization established in 2002 with a mission to promote a better understanding of Israel and its people and to improve Israel’s image abroad. It is an independent organization, unaffiliated with any Jewish organization, government agency, or political party. Today, we have three Ethiopian Jews, all Israeli citizens, former members of the IDF, sharing from their hearts. First up is Rami Yaakov.
Title: A black Ethiopian travels to America to foster a better understanding of Israel
Topic: Israel Through The Eyes of an Ethiopian Jew
Special guest: Rachel Alemu
Israel at Heart (www.IsraelAtHeart.org)
Over the past eight years, Israel at Heart has been traveling with young, eloquent, bright university... Read more
March 20, 2011
African-Israelis Fascinate Westhill Students by Felicia Hunter03/10/11 Ruth Metaferya talks to Westhill students about her journey from Ethiopia to Israel.Photo Credit: Felicia Hunter The Westhill visitors are Dina Lakao, Adam Bashar, Shlomit Berhanu and Ruth Metaferya.Photo Credit: Felicia Hunter Westhill student Zac Krowitz, left, joins the Israeli students, each with a new Westhill souvenir.Photo Credit: Felicia Hunter Ethiopian Israeli Ruth Metaferya Photo Credit: Felicia Hunter Four foreign students who visited Westhill High School earlier this week started out as strangers to their audience. But after telling their stories of survival and triumph, the similarities they had with Westhill students seemed to overshadow the differences. At least Zac Krowitz thought so. “I wish more students could have heard them,” said Zac, a senior. He was among students in five Westhill classes Monday who listened to Ethiopian- and Sudanese-born Israelis relay how they left their birth countries and reestablished themselves in their adopted home. The speakers, all college students in Israel, were on a two-week tour as representatives of Israel at Heart. The Israelis touched on subjects such as the country’s Army and other government service, the drive to excel academically, and popular culture. “Justin Bieber will be [performing] in Israel in two weeks,” noted Dina Lakao, to the surprise and delight of Westhill students. Lakao wore a single dreadlock entwined in her otherwise loosely styled hair – one of the latest fashion statements in Israel, she said. Israel at Heart is an independent nonprofit that sends university students on speaking tours to discuss their lives and experiences. In the case of the group that spoke in Stamford Monday, those experiences include Israel’s multicultural, multilingual aspects. Lakao told how her Ethiopian Jewish family escaped religious oppression by journeying on foot to Israel. Along the way, the family stayed in... Read more
March 17, 2011
African immigrants share thier
experiences in Israel
University students mingle with four Ethiopian and Darfurian students who share their experiences immigrating to Israel last night on the College Avenue campus. The event was sponsored in part by Rutgers-Hillel and Israel at Heart.
Four Ethiopian and Darfurian students spoke to University students about life as immigrants in Israel yesterday night in Campbell Hall on the College Avenue campus.
The event, sponsored by Rutgers-Hillel, University's Residence Life and Israel at Heart, is one of a series the students will speak at in the United States, said Zeke Pariser, the Hillel student board's orthodox community chair.
"We're trying to promote a better understanding of what Israel is and who comprises Israel," said Pariser, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. "Cultural diversity thrives there, there are African immigrants. It's their home, and they are proud Israelis."
The four Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) students, Shlomit Berhanu, Ruth Metaferya and Dina Lakao of Ethiopia and Adam Bashar of Darfur, discussed how they traveled to Israel from Africa.
Lakao, 25, described the journey her mother took to bring her family to Israel.
"She was pregnant with my oldest brother, and the only way to Israel was to walk through Sudan, through the desert," she said. "They hid from local people who would often rape, kidnap and rob refugees."
Metaferya said her family contacted a Jewish-American family for fabricated work documents to show the government, one of the only ways to get permission to leave.
"It's amazing to see how devoted they were to making their dream come true," she said.
All four students discussed absorption centers in Israel, which promote integration into society by educating immigrants in the practice of Hebrew and finding work in their new home.
"There are a lot of social workers and professional people helping there," Metaferya said. "I lived... Read more
March 14, 2011
Israel at Heart Connects Ethiopian-Israelis to Students
By Genet Lakew
Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 22:03
Three Ethiopian-Israelis traveled over 5,000 miles to the U.S. to share their personal stories of assimilation, religion and identity.
Israela Falka, Havtnesh-Liat Sabahat and Naor Baruch were sponsored by Israel at Heart, a nonprofit organization based in New York. The group gathers young Israelis from the Jewish state to travel to college campuses around the world in hopes of exposing people to their lives. These representatives also help to dispel stereotypes or correct misinformation about Israel and its people.
The department of student life and activities was instrumental in bringing the three Ethiopian-Israelis to Howard's campus. Noelle Ojo, the department's coordinator for intercultural programs, escorted the visitors to their event sites on Wednesday. Ojo said it is the... Read more
March 8, 2011
Columbia, SC (WLTX)-- Lately, there has been a great deal of discussion locally and internationally about the Middle East.
It is a region of the World that at times seems to only be in the media for stories focused on conflict.
However, a small delegation of Ethiopian Jews from Israel is traveling the country and hoping to change that stereotype. They made a stop in Columbia to share with a group of decision makers and those interested in the policies, future and traditions of Israel the good that exists.
This group in particular will be touring the South East for the next two weeks making stops in Augusta and Atlanta
Watch the full interview on line : http://www.wltx.com/news/article/126679/2/Bringing-the-Middle-East-to-the-Midlands Read more
March 4, 2011
Over the past eight years, Israel at Heart has been bringing young, eloquent, bright university students who love their country, for speaking tours across the US and other parts of the world. Among these students, it was extremely important for us to include Ethiopian Israelis as they present the multicultural aspect of the Israeli society not known to outside communities.
In 2011 we sent a group of sixteen young Ethiopian Israeli College students to tour in the Unites States . The students traveled in groups of three to the following places : New York , Washington D.C , Boston, Atlanta and Texas to share their personal stories about life in Israel .
The purpose of this delegation was to break people’s stereotypes and misconceptions about Israel at large and the Ethiopian community in particular.
We also believe that by introducing young, dynamic, smart and well-spoken Ethiopian-Israeli students to various audiences in United States, we can promote a better... Read more
January 9, 2011
A Different Kind Of Ambassador
by Liel Leibovitz
The battle for Israel's public relations has a new general. He's skinny, and is usually draped in the latest designers' fashion. He's a pop star whose lyrics often tell tales of young, disaffected Tel Avivians sitting in cafes, blissfully oblivious to the political reality raging around them. And he's gay. His name is Ivri Lider, undoubtedly the country's leading male recording artist. Each of his four albums went platinum or gold, no small feat in a market as small as Israel's, and he has been chosen as a "Singer of the Year" by virtually every major Israeli radio station. Now, he is touring the United States, talking to student groups and other audiences about what is it like being a young, talented, openly gay, Israeli superstar.
About a year ago the idea of bringing Lider to the United States occurred to Joey Low, founder of Israel at Heart, an organization dedicated to bringing Israeli college students on speaking tours to American campuses.
Having already sponsored and organized tours for two Israeli artists (the group Shotey Hanevuah and the musician Idan Reichel) Low was looking for a new artist who would resonate with local audiences, someone who could put an attractive, appealing face on Israel. His popularity skyrocketing, Lider was a natural. While the gay issue personally is not an issue that is in my heart, Low said, the idea of reaching out to a new segment of Jewish and non-Jewish people was appealing. Low traveled to Israel to meet Lider, and decided to bring him along on an American tour. Next week, Lider will play a concert in New York, after visiting Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. He is also slated to give talks to several gay student groups. For us it wasn't just about his music or just about gay issues, said Low. It was about perceptions, about trying to change the way people think about Israel. Lider comes across as very sincere and... Read more