COLLEGE by wulinqing


        Making the World a Degree Richer:
        Ethiopian College Students in Israel
          The Vidal Sassoon Adopt-a-                         up from last year, but
        Student program was born in the                      still not nearly enough.
        1980’s when our founding presi-                         Letters from AAS stu-
        dent, Jonathan Giesberg, of                          dents to their sponsors
        blessed memory, visited the hand-                    are often so touching
        ful of Ethiopian college students                    they bring tears to our
        in Israel and found they all had                     eyes. Knowing we don’t
        the same problem: although the                       have room in the Lifeline Jonathan Giesberg in Israel in 1987 with
        government was paying their                          for all or even most, we Ethiopian friends Fiona and Elana (right).
        tuition, they had no money for                       decided to print one Elana was the first Adopt-A-Student and
        food, health insurance, carfare,                                                  became a professional chemist.
                                                             special one. It’s a poem,
        rent, and books.                                     written in Hebrew by student               Then, Erez, an educational man-
           At Jonathan’s urging, NACOEJ                      Erez B. Kassahun to his sponsors,       agement major at Bar-Ilan Univer-
        started looking for sponsors who                     Mark and Emily Friedman of              sity, adds:
        would provide a modest living                        Silver Spring, Maryland. The               “I have no words to express all
        stipend for these young women                        poem was translated in the                 my gratitude and appreciation
        and men who were the hope of                         NACOEJ Israel office.                      to you. I would like to say thank
        the Ethiopian community.                               “Sometimes you want to                   you, from the bottom of my
          Today, there are many more                           say something, but you don’t             heart, for the help and support
        Ethiopian college students in                          know what.                               you give me with this stipend.
        Israel – and many graduates.                           Sometimes you want to scream,            Your donation helped me in
        Thousands have been helped by                          but you remain silent.                   every aspect, financially,
        NACOEJ. They include lawyers,                          Because there is no word that            academically and emotionally.
        teachers, scientists, social work-                     can express, no word that enters         Your help encourages me to aim
        ers, entrepreneurs, artists and                        the emotion.                             higher and reach more. I wish
        performers, diplomats and politi-                      Sometimes it is not enough.              and pray that you will always
        cians, government officials, army                      Sometimes it does not express            be repaid ten-fold for all your
        officers, medical professionals,                       everything…                              doings.
        and more.                                              Maybe a new word should                  Sincerely, Erez B. Kassahun”
          But many promising students                          be invented, a special word just         Please consider having heart-
        are still dropping out of college                      for you.                              felt words like these addressed to
        because they have no jobs and no                       A word that would really express      you or to a group you can form to
        money for basic necessities. This                      what’s inside, a human word           share the expenses of a student.
        year, NACOEJ has 370 sponsored                         That would come out of one heart      Call Evelyn Deitchman at 212-
        students in our AAS program –                          and enter deep into the other!”       233-5200, extension 226.

        A FINAL WORD...
        On a recent trip to Israel, I was told by an Ethiopian                        same time”. If I had to choose, I would pick the
        member of our Israeli Board that our college                                  after-school program because it sets the stage
        program was our most important effort “because it                             for a youngster’s whole life. But they’re all critically
        is the last chance for our young people to achieve                            important to the future of the Ethiopian Jewish
        success”. On the same trip, a Jewish Agency official                          community in Israel. Without any of them, the
        told me the high school program was our most                                  chances of success go down. With them all,
        important “because it gives youngsters a chance to                            together we can reach for the stars…BRG
        make it into college and help their families at the


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