Israel at heart began the israel at heart scholarship program for ethiopian Israelis at the IDC in 2006. We have over 150 graduates and 45 currently studying . We are very proud of the program and thank the IDC for all the help they have been. It would not have been possible without their active participation.
I started as notified fact because I was very disappointed the way people who didn't know Israel saw Israel based on the media, the television, based on what they read in the paper and generally the impression people get of Israel is one of a violent country that oppresses people and that anyone who knows Israel someone who loves Israel like I do was very disappointed. One of the things I realized was one of the complaints that people have of Israel is they call it an apartheid state a racist state it discriminates whether it's against the Ethiopian Israelis who were living in Israel.
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As I started to work more and more with Ethiopian Israelis I got to know them better I realized that the biggest problem they had was the stereotypes that the Israeli society has about them stereotypes come from the misconceptions that people have based on things that they read things that they hear unfortunately very often from a government official who people respect and think they know and I realized what I should do is to try to break those stereotypes and the way to do that I felt was to get them a college degree let them start working in businesses and people would see that they are capable as everybody else it was just a question of getting them the opportunity. Today we have about 150 graduates we have 45 studying right now at school all different faculties, Accounting, communications, law and psychology you name them they study it and everyone who's graduated gets a job. There's a whole bunch of programs you know like in life when you start something you never know where it's going to end, the key thing is to start, you take that first step and so much opens up to you and these students was so outstanding that as I got to know them it actually for me is one of the best investments I have ever made.