Sderot opens ulpan for Ethiopian immigrants

Despite the recent barrage of rockets in southern Israel, AMIT opened two new ulpan classes in Sderot.

Ethiopian Jews 370 (photo credit: Moshe Shai)
Ethiopian Jews 370
(photo credit: Moshe Shai)
Despite the recent barrage of rockets in southern Israel, AMIT opened two new ulpan classes in the organization’s religious school campus in Sderot this week.
The classes, which are aimed at teaching Hebrew and other basic subjects, were opened specifically for children of Ethiopian olim who arrived in Israel last month as part of the Operation Dove’s Wings and have been residing at the Ibim Absorption Center near Sderot.
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Forty Ethiopian children are enrolled in the program, which started on Monday morning.
AMIT, which constitutes a religious educational network of about 108 schools and youth programs in Israel, explained that the Sderot Municipality was only notified that the children would be studying at AMIT schools less than a month ago.
Moti Arbel, head of the Sderot campus, said in a statement: “The school has been notified and has prepared teachers and learning facilities on short notice.”
“We believe that genuine cooperation in their absorption, until their parents move to permanent housing anywhere in the country, will help in making these children significant citizens in Israeli society,” he continued.
The school’s facilities, which are only about a year old, are sheltered and rocket-proof, making studying possible in light of the recent situation.
“The kids are actually safer at the school than in their homes,” AMIT spokesman Shmulik Klein told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“There is no problem for them to be in class and studying while rockets are flying everywhere outside,” he added.
Rabbi Amit Orenbuch, who heads the boys’ class, welcomed the young immigrants earlier this week and applauded Sderot students by saying: “Giving to the other, despite all difficulties, is the biggest virtue, and our students know that.”