A Survey of Ethiopian Immigrants and Non-immigrants in the Kiryat Moshe Neighborhood, Rehovot

In 2000-2001, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, in cooperation with local authorities, established ten neighborhood centers in neighborhoods with a large concentration of Ethiopian immigrants. The role of these centers is to coordinate the care of these immigrants within the municipality and promote the development of services and programs for them, while increasing cooperation among various agencies and pooling resources.

To learn the needs of these immigrants in a variety of areas, and to provide information inputs for the work of the centers, a survey is conducted of the Ethiopian immigrant households in each of the ten neighborhoods. This report, which is the second in a series of reports on these surveys, presents data from the survey conducted in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood of Rehovot. Since the center in KiryatMoshe also serves the neighborhood’s non-immigrant population, data were also collected on that population. Data were gathered on 87% of the Ethiopian immigrant families and 63% of the non-immigrant families in the neighborhood.

A number of central directions arise from these data:

  • The employment rate of Ethiopian immigrants is low, compared to that of the general Jewish population in Israel. The highest employment rate – 75% – was found among men ages 26-44.
  • Half of those Ethiopian immigrants who are employed work in unskilled jobs and are in danger of losing their jobs; there is thus a need to upgrade their occupational level.
  • Those who are not employed need a continuum of assistance, from vocational counseling and guidance, through supplemental education and vocational training, to initial contact with potential employers.
  • Among non-immigrant men in the neighborhood (but not among non-immigrant women), the employment rate is lower than the national rate, and the unemployment rate is higher. However, most of those who are not currently employed have an employment history, and a significant percentage of them are seeking work. They, too, need various types of assistance to become reintegrated into the labor force.
  • Nearly all of the Ethiopian immigrant children ages 3-17 attend school. However, only half of them participate in enrichment or scholastic support programs. The rate of participation in such programs is much lower among non-immigrant children. There is room to expand the scope of participation of both populations in informal education programs.
  • Fifty-four percent of the Ethiopian immigrant families and 83% of the non-immigrant families are dissatisfied with the neighborhood, primarily due to a lack of infrastructure and services. A significant minority of both populations reported seeing the concentration of Ethiopian immigrants in the neighborhood as a detriment. However, there is interaction among neighbors on a daily basis, and it appears that joint activity on behalf of the neighborhood could unite the immigrants and non-immigrants.

The survey findings were presented to service providers and activists in the Kiryat Mosheneighborhood, and may be used in planning intervention programs in the near future.

This study was implemented on the initiative of and funded by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, as part of a program to develop the neighborhood centers