An Israeli ministerial committee charged with promoting the integration of Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society approved today (Wednesday) a number of new education initiatives aimed at increasing their access to higher education as well as supporting business expansion.


Illustration Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

An Israeli ministerial committee tasked with promoting the integration of Ethiopian citizens into Israeli society, headed by the Israeli Prime Minister, met this morning (Wednesday) and approved a number of new initiatives for Ethiopian Israeli citizens.

The first plan concerns an investment in education, in which the Council for Higher Education will start a program this coming school year that will increase Ethiopian Israelis’ access to higher education. The plan will cost an estimated 95 million NIS over the next five years and will be an addition to the provision of approved educational support aimed at increasing the number of Ethiopian students who earn their matriculation certificate and doubling the number of Ethiopian students participating in excellence programs.

The second program is called the “Keys Program” under which vouchers that would allow kids and parents to participate in their choice of group activities at the local community center will be handed out. The program will include 3,925 students each year over the next three years within 26 local authorities.

In addition, the Israeli Ministry of Finance, through the Koret Foundation and the Association for Interest-Free Loans, launched a special program to grant interest-free loans to 250 Ethiopian entrepreneurs in order encourage and expand business initiatives.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also referred to the integration of Ethiopian immigrants into the IDF and called 2016’s increase in integration remarkable. Netanyahu noted the importance of maintaining this trend, adding that “these good results are due to the programs we pushed here.”