A Survey of Ethiopian Immigrants in Three Hadera Neighborhoods

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

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 third in a series of reports on these surveys, presents data from the survey conducted in the Pe’er, Ovdim and Elram neighborhoods of Hadera. Data were gathered on 243 families, comprising 82% of the Ethiopian immigrant families residing in the three neighborhoods.

A number of central directions arise from these data:

  • The Ethiopian immigrants in Hadera have been in Israel for a relatively long time – 36% have been in the country for over 15 years and 60% – 6-10 years.
  • The employment rate of men aged 26-44 is 77% (compared to 84% among Jewish men of the same age). Employment rates remain relatively high in older age groups: 60% of the ment age 45-54, and a third aged 55-64 are employed. This is related to the relatively long time that they have been in Israel.
  • As length of stay in Israel increases, there is a significant rise in the percentage of families where both spouses are employed, in the percentage of single mothers who are employed, in the percentage of men and women who are employed in skilled jobs and in the percentage of women who work full time.
  • The unemployed are a heterogeneous group. Some men have had work experience in Israeland lost their jobs due to the recent economic slowdown. They need assistance mainly in establishing initial contacts with potential employers and transportation to the work place. On the other hand, there is a group of hard-to-place older men, who are in poor health and lack work experience. The unemployed women are mostly mothers of young children, and thus need assistance in financing child care.
  • Despite their relatively lengthy time in Israel, the Ethiopian immigrants in Hadera still struggle with the Hebrew language: 20% are unable at all to understand or hold a simple conversation in Hebrew, and 40% are unable to read or write in Hebrew.
  • Nearly all of the Ethiopian immigrant children aged 3-13 attend school. On the other hand, among youth aged 14-17, a 6% dropout rate was found.
  • Only half of the children aged 6-13 and 10% of those aged 14-17, who are living in the community, participate in enrichment or educational afternoon programs. According to the parents, half the school-age children need, but do not receive, help with their studies. There is a need to expand the scope of such assistance as well as the scope of participation in after-school educational programs.
  • Sixty-three percent of the Ethiopian immigrant families are dissatisfied with the neighborhood, primarily due to poor physical conditions as well as crime and delinquency.

The survey findings were presented to service providers and activists in the three neighborhoods , and are being used in planning intervention programs. The study was implemented on the initiative of and funded by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, as part of the program to develop the neighborhood centers.

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Baum, N. (2013). Jewish Israeli Social Workers’ Responses to Ethnic Health Inequality. Qualitative health research23(4), 507-516.

King, J. Employment of Ethiopian Immigrants.