One more chapter in Israel's efforts to welcome new immigrants was written on February 27 with the crowning of a 21-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, Yityish Aynaw, as Miss Israel at a ceremony in Haifa. Aynaw moved to Israel as an orphan at the age of 12 with two siblings
For the supporters and the leadership of Keren Hayesod, which has been so much at the forefront of immigrant absorption, Aynaw's life story is a real inspiration. In addition to the usual adjustment process that all immigrants undergo in learning a new language and adapting to a new country, Aynaw was faced with tackling the challenges without the usual support of parents. But she persisted and after rising to the rank of officer in the Israel Defense Forces, she is now Miss Israel.
The history of immigration to Israel even before the country became independent is closely intertwined with the story of Keren Hayesod. In recent decades, the organization has been at the center of efforts to welcome immigrants from Ethiopia, providing funding for a whole range of Jewish Agency programs addressing the particular needs of newcomers from Ethiopia. In what is perhaps the ultimate sign of success in their adopted land, among the ranks of newly elected members of the Knesset following January's election are a number of new immigrants, including those from Ethiopia.
Keren Hayesod's commitment to welcome new immigrants from Ethiopia continues to be made possible by the generosity of Keren Hayesod's supporters around the world.
photos by: Sasson moshe