We are very excited to be part of the Jewish Agency for Israel's "Shin-shinim" program for the first time this year! Click here to learn more about the program.

Our Shinshinit this year is Brtukan Ezra!

Brtukan will be helping in the Kulanu Learning Program on Monday and Tuesday weekly. 

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Tell us a little about you and your family

My name is Bartokan Ezra I was born in Ethiopia. I made Aliyah with my family when I was 3 years old I have four siblings, three brothers and one sister. I am the youngest in my family My mother works as a cleaner at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva and my father has a disability that prevents him from working.

I want to study medicine and be part of an organization called Doctors Without Borders that helps people in underdeveloped countries.

Major in High-School

I chose to study physics and computers because they are subjects that really interest me. Physics is a very interesting subject and computers is a subject that is very important today because we are in a digital world and everything happens on the computer and on the social networks.

Your Hadracha & Volunteering Experience

I have volunteered in an elementary school to help children with learning difficulties for the past two years.

I am also part of the Ethiopian National Project’s SPACE Program, whose goal is to help and promote Ethiopian youth to succeed in their field of study

I was chosen to fly to the United States by ENP in order to speak about SPACE to donors, but I had a matriculation exam on the dates of the trip, so I could not participate.I also volunteered with children with special needs for one year

What are your hobbies or things you like to do in your free time? 

In my free time I love to read books because when you read books you have the ability to imagine any character you want and another thing is that reading books enriches your knowledge in different areas that school does not teach about. In addition, I love to listen to music, because in the songs you can express your opinion and your feelings, so when you listen to a song you can choose it according to your feelings.

I also love traveling with family and friends in nature

Why do you want to do Shlichut? What do you hope to accomplish?

I want to be a shlicha, because when you go on shlichut you have the power to change the opinions of others about Israel and you will be able to do pro-Israel propaganda.

Another thing, on shlichut I will have the opportunity to meet Jewish communities and see how they live in a non-Jewish society and learn about their way of life. And I will become more independent and responsible and mature, because I will be away from my safe place and will get to know myself much better.

How would you prepare yourself before going on Shlichut?

Before I would go on shlichut I would work on improving the language and learning and explaining to the audience..

Three things you love about Israel:
  1. Celebrating holidays - Celebrating holidays is important because the main thing that symbolizes Israel is that it is a Jewish state, so keeping holidays is something that shapes Israel as Jewish and historical
  2. Military service or national service - every person who completes his studies has to volunteer for more than two years to serve the nation, I think it is a beautiful thing that every person contributes to the state, regardless of religion.
  3. Sense of belonging in Israel - When you come to the Land of Israel to a Jewish state you feel at home, you feel you belong to the place and society and do not feel like a stranger.
Three things about Israel you'd like to make a difference:
  1. Bureaucracy - any process you want to do in this country is a long and difficult process.
  2. Cost of living - The cost of living in Israel is very high with that in studies and supermarkets, young people do not have the ability to rent or buy their own apartment The prices are so high that more than one and a half million people in Israel are below the poverty line.
  3. Stop wars- I think we have to reach a compromise agreement between the two sides and stop the war because innocent people are dying on both sides. 

What are Shin-shinim? 

The Shin-shinim program is the "year of service program" that offers Israeli high school graduates an opportunity to delay mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces and serve Diaspora communities for up to 10 months. The program allows communities to meet young Israeli ambassadors who perform meaningful service prior to entering the army. In 2014-15, 98 Service Year Shlichim served in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and other countries; this number grew to 114 in 2017 and 2018.