Jewish Ethiopian Immigrant

Jewish Ethiopian immigrant children and adolescents: Development occupation


Israel is an immigrant country. During the past decades (from 1980 to 2004), about 1,300,000 new immigrants arrived, currently constituting about 19% of the Israeli population. Between 1989 and 2004, 70,000 immigrants from Ethiopia arrived in Israel (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2005).
Although the Ethiopian immigrant community makes up only five per cent of the new immigrant population and about one per cent of Israel’s population, this immigration challenged the Israeli society with finding appropriate ways for their successful integration into educational institutions (schools and boarding schools). Ethiopian immigrants’ cultural background differs dramatically from Israeli culture. Ethiopians come from a close, traditional, rural society. Most of them lived in small villages, had little contact with urban life and made a living from crafts and agriculture. Thus, there is a substantial gap between traditional Ethiopian and modern Israeli culture.

Studies indicated that since 1987, more than a third of school-age Ethiopian children in Israel demonstrate very low academic achievement in most fields, and according to their teachers’ reports, require extensive help. Their knowledge of Hebrew is generally poor and they have difficulty reading and writing. Many parents cannot assist their children in educational matters and cannot communicate with social agents. Many parents do not work. As a result of changes in the parental role, Ethiopian parents have lost much of their authority in parent-child relationships. Children, and especially youths, become the family spokespersons and the source of authority in the family’s encounter with external agents.

The studies under discussion focus on enabling a better understanding of the unique characteristics and needs of Jewish Ethiopian children and adolescent immigrants. Our goal is to help them achieve better integration and participation in learning and every day functioning in Israeli society while maintaining their unique cultural values.

Thesis dissertation

Sensory-motor and cognitive performance of new immigrant children from Ethiopia, compared to veteran Ethiopian immigrants and to Israeli children (1994).

Supervised by N. Katz &. S. Parush, School of Occupational Therapy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Published articles

Goldblatt, H., & Rosenblum, S. (2011). Between "there" and "here" – values, needs and dreams of immigrant Jewish Ethiopian youth in Israel. Megamot, 47, 593-615.

Rosenblum, S., Goldblatt, H., & Moin, V. (2008) Hidden Dropout among High-School Immigrant Students: The Case of Ethiopian Adolescents in Israel- A Pilot Study. School psychology international, 29(1),105-122.

Goldblatt, H. & Rosenblum, S. (2007). Navigating among worlds – The Experience of Ethiopian Adolescents in Israel. The Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(6), 585-611.

Arama, K., Pinsky, M., Koren, G., & Rosenblum, S. (2002). The hand skills and dexterity in 5-6 year old children of Israeli Ethiopian immigrant parents versus children of Israeli born parents. Israel Journal of Occupational Therapy (IJOT), 11, 3-4, H129- H146. (In Hebrew).

Rosenblum, S., Katz, N., Hahn-Markowitz, J., Mazor-Karsenty, T. & Parush, S. (2000). Environmental influences on perceptual and motor skills of children from immigrant Ethiopian families. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 90(2), 587- 594. Abstract

Rosenblum, S., Katz, N., & Parush, S. (1997). Visumotor performance of new immigrant children from Ethiopia compared to veteran immigrant children from Ethiopia and Israeli children. Israel Journal of Occupational Therapy (IJOT), 6,1, H1-H19. (In Hebrew).

Other publications

Rosenblum, S. (2002). A center for advancing and developing immigrant adolescents from Ethiopia with learning difficulties. In Z. Shtayyn, (Ed.) “Meal Umeever” more about children in risk. “Ashalim” members products collection 1998- 2001, Jerusalem, Ashalim, Joint Israel.(In Hebrew).

Rosenblum, S. (1994). Assessment of learning difficulties and learning potential among Ethiopian immigrant children, using an experimental testing system. In[delete:: ] G. Noam (Ed.) Achievements and challenges in the absorption of Ethiopian immigrants. Jerusalem: Brookdale Institute of Gerontology. (In Hebrew)

Grant received

Tel Aviv University, The Interdisciplinary Center for Children and Youth Studies: Personal and environmental factors as variables that influence the hidden dropout among Jewish Ethiopian immigrant adolescents. (Co- principal Investigator Dr. Duvdevani, I. and Dr. Goldblatt, H). (2003) 10,000 NIS.


Scholarship for development of a creation center for immigrant adolescents from Ethiopia with Learning Disabilities- The Association for Planning & Development of Services for Children and Youth at Risk & their families "ASHALIM" Joint – Jerusalem (1998-1999) 3000 $.