Yemin Orde graduate, Danny Admasu, receives Israel’s President’s Scholarship for Scientific Excellence and Innovation 2018.
The President’s Scholarship for Scientific Excellence and Innovation 2018 was presented to Yemin Orde graduate, Danny Admasu, for his doctoral dissertation, “The Jews of Ethiopia and the Perception of Blacks in Zionist Historiography and Culture.” Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin presented Danny with the award at the President’s residence in Jerusalem.
Danny, 44, is studying at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. His dissertation deals with the attitude towards blackness and blacks in Zionism and in Israel. Danny explores the various factors that shaped and preserve the perception of blacks, the attitude towards them and the discourse about them.
Furthermore, the dissertation examines the historical, cultural and ideological process that shaped the image of black people in the history of Israeli Jewish society, and examines how perceptions of blacks are preserved and expressed in cultural practices and social policy.
A Leader For His Community
Danny is one of the most prominent social activists in the Ethiopian community in Israel. He is the former Executive Director of the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews (IAEJ), an advocacy agency for the full integration of Ethiopian Jews into mainstream Israeli society.
He is also the General Manager of “Hila” – an organization for Equality in Education, and Founding Director of Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center – a government corporation.
Danny holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Open University of Israel, and a Master’s degree in Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies from Bar-Ilan University, where he is now a doctoral student. He is married to Smadar and has three young boys: Liad, Ben, and Tom.
From an Ethiopian Village to Yemin Orde Youth Village
Danny arrived in Israel from Ethiopia as a youth in 1984 in Operation Moses. With three of his seven siblings and his father, Danny traveled by foot after dark to reach Sudan, some 600 miles away from his home. Danny and his family tried to make the journey three times over the course of two months, getting caught twice and spending time in jail before being brought back to their Ethiopian village.
“We were ready to pay any price to get to Jerusalem,” he says.
The family succeeded on its third try in reaching Sudan. Danny and his family stayed there in a Red Cross camp for seven months before managing to get to Israel.
Adjusting to life in their long-awaited destination was not easy. Danny recalls that learning a new language and acclimating were his greatest challenges, and he was especially frustrated at not being able to communicate in Hebrew with children of his age.
Yemin Orde Youth Village welcomed Danny and provided him a unique opportunity to receive an excellent education in a supportive and home-like environment. He especially cherishes Dr. Chaim Peri and his staff’s attentiveness, availability and genuine care.
Danny is a proud graduate of Yemin Orde, where he feels he received significant foundations and skills to succeed in life.
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