New Israel Fund Presents*

Friends by Nature - Community Empowerment
Tuesday, November 20, 2012   12 noon - 1:30 pm
At the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco - 121 Steuart Street

Lunch will be provided; please RSVP so we can plan appropriately for food.

Discrimination and racist incitement against Israeli citizens and residents of African descent have made headlines this year.  Join us to learn about NIF grantee Friends by Nature’s unique and successful model for supporting Israel’s Ethiopian youth-at-risk and their families.  Founded by a cohort of likeminded activists—both of Ethiopian descent and not—Friends by Nature – Community Empowerment (FBN) developed the Gedera Community Garin.  This is a group of families and young adults who choose to live in this town in the Israeli periphery, which faces severe economic and social challenges, and is home to a significant Ethiopian population.  Their mission is to take responsibility for the long-term success of the community, with particular focus on its youth, many of whom are at high risk for school drop-out and falling between the cracks of the social safety net.

*This event is being presented in partnership with The Israel Center of the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation, Hazon, and Camp Tawonga.

Featured speakers

Dvora Rata

Debi made aliya to Israel from Ethiopia, through Sudan, in 1984 as part of Operation Moses. Debi is one of 7 siblings; she grew up in Ashkelon, and lives today in Petah Tikva.

Debi completed her Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Sciences and a Master's degree from the Department of Community Mental Health at the University of Haifa.

Debi currently works as a rehabilitation instructor for people with mental illness, as well as FBN’s countrywide Garin coordinator and the Petah Tikva Garin director.


Maayan Ravid

Maayan was born in the U.S. and grew up both on kibbutz in Israel and in the San Francisco Bay Area during her family's shlichut at the Jewish Community Federation. This duality has led Maayan to explore issues of multiculturalism, identity narratives and immigration in different ways and contexts.

Maayan completed her bachelor's degree in Political Science and History of the Middle East and Africa at Tel Aviv University. She has worked with various non-profits in Israel with an international orientation. Specifically, Maayan is interested in African political history, communities and stories both in Africa and abroad, issues of immigration and human rights.

 Maayan joined the Friends by Nature team in 2012, working on partnership building and resource development.