Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Israel names first ever Ethiopian-born ambassador

Beylanesh Zevadia
(Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
(Jerusalem Post) Beylanesh Zevadia arrived in Israel from Ethiopia in 1984; she will go back to Addis Ababa as Israel's envoy
Some 28 years after coming to Israel from Ethiopia,  Beylanesh Zevadia will be returning to her birthplace in the summer – this time as Israel's ambassador.
The Foreign Ministry's appointments committee on Tuesday announced Zevadia's appointment to Addis Ababa.  The 44-year-old  Zevadia will be Israel's first Ethiopian-born ambassador.
Zevadia, who joined the foreign Minister in 1993 as its first Ethiopian-born diplomat, served previously at Israel's consulates in Houston and Chicago.
Zevadia grew up in the village of Ambova in the Gondar province, and arrived in Israel at the age of 16 on a Jewish Agency scholarship to study at Hebrew University.
After attending ulpan at Jerusalem's Ulpan Etzion, Zevadia went to work for the Jewish Agency during Operation Moses, the airlift from November 21, 1984 – January 5, 1985 that brought some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to the country. She worked in helping ease initial absorption pains for the immigrants.
Zevadia's father was the head kes (religious leader) in Gondar, and died three years after coming to Israel, in 1989.
She has a BA in international relations, and an MA in anthropology and African studies, from Hebrew University.
Read full article from Jerusalem Post

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