Staff

AspaFentahun Assefa-Dawit, Executive Director

Fentahun Assefa-Dawit joined Tebeka in October 2013 with both great experience and deep personal commitment. He grew up in Ethiopia, learning Hebrew while praying to come to Israel with his family. He fled Ethiopia when he was about to be drafted into the army; with all paths to Israel closed, he spent seven years in Montreal, Canada. He then made aliyah to Israel in 1994. After some time in the hi-tech sector, Fentahun realized his true calling was working with the Ethiopian community to assist in their successful integration into Israeli society. He worked for the Jewish Agency, running two immigrant absorption centers in northern Israel, guiding their residents through the 2006 Second Lebanon War that took place at their door. As a result of his work there, he was asked to serve as a representative of Keren HaYesod in Sydney, Australia, which he did for the past five years with tremendous success. Fentahun holds a degree from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and lives with his wife and children in Ashdod.

 

OSHRA FRIEDMAN ,VP Planning and Resource Development

At the age of seven, Oshra Friedman made Aliyah from Ethiopia as part of the clandestine “Operation Moses”.   Oshra earned a BA degree in Criminology and Human Resources from Bar Ilan University; as well as a Master’s Degree from the Ruppin Academic College in the field of Immigration and Social Absorption.  Oshra is currently studying for her Doctorate in Education and Leadership at the Haifa University.

Oshra joined the Rashi Foundation in the year 2000, following a long and successful career as an Education Officer in the IDF.  Oshra spearheaded the concept which led to the establishment of The Rashi Foundation’s Katzir Scholarship Fund. This unique scholarship fund targets economically weak niche populations of Israel’s periphery; enabling the recipient students to gain academic achievement, intended to empower them towards social mobility and economic independence.   Until recently, Oshra served as the Northern Regional Coordinator and Director of Partnership Development of the Katzir Scholarship Fund.

Oshra is particularly proud of having established two unique tracks within the Katzir Fund. One designed to bring back into the fold college dropouts; and the second designed specifically for single mothers. The program for single mothers won Oshra recognition of the 2014 Yaffa London Yaari Prize of the New Israel Fund.

As a leading activist of the Ethiopian-Israeli Community, Oshra stood at the forefront of the recent young people’s demonstration this past summer. In response to the strained relationship between the Israeli Police Force and the Ethiopian-Israeli community, Oshra served as a member of the “Round Table” established between the Police and Community.  She is a strong believer that healthy cooperation between the Community and the Police Department is the key to improved communication and irelations between the two.

In June 2016 Oshra joined Tebeka as the Director of Planning and Resource Development. It is Oshra’s firm belief that as a member of the Tebeka family she will be an active partner in the promotion of the goals of Tebeka, to protect the basic rights of all members of the community and provide Justice and Equality for all Ethiopian-Israelis.

 

ויצמן רחל2Rachel Weizmann-Dray, Attorney

Rachel finished high school for religious girls in Bnei Akiva, and then served two years (National Service) as a tour guide of community heritage. Immediately after her service, she went to the United States to the Jewish community in New York through the Jewish Agency. Her worldview was formed through volunteering in various organizations focused on accessibility and the empowerment of disadvantaged populations, particularly populations with specialized needs including  the elderly, children and immigrants. Rachel finished law school at Netanya Academic College in 2010. She has accumulated vast legal experience as a paralegal, clerk and then as an attorney in the private sector where she was involved in a variety of activities. She later served as legal counsel to companies in the private-business sector. She joined as an associate with Tebeka out of a moral obligation to take part in the elimination of discrimination, racism and inequality which, unfortunately, is still common. Rachel is happy to be part of an association that advocates for the creation of an egalitarian, just and healthy society through the use of intelligent and therapeutic legal tools to empower the Ethiopian Jewry in Israel and build leadership from within the community.

 

Sivan Adonia,Attorney

I was born in Ethiopia and at the age of five I came to Israel with my family. On completion of my high school education I began my service in the Israeli army were I worked in the army’s computer systems and information center. After completion of my military service I worked for 4 years in a high-tech company in Israel.

Over the years it became clear to me that the existing position of Ethiopian-Israelis in Israeli society is unacceptable. With this problem in mind, I decided to make a change in my professional direction and began my studies in law.

On completion of my studies I spent some time working in the department of police investigations, the department investigated criminal activities by the police.

During my studies I volunteered at legal clinics, in the course of my work in these clinics I became aware of the many obstacles that prevent individuals from taking advantage of the full benefits of the legal system and often prevent them from realizing their legal and civil rights.

I began my work at Tebeka with the belief that it is our duty to provide to each and every citizen equal access to professional legal representation, no” matter what his or her’s economic or social status.”

 

Tomer Mersha,AttorneyTOMER

Tomer studied law at the “Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya”. In 2007 Tomer went to the United States were he did his pre-practice in the legal department of Viacom, the mother company of MTV International.

In 2010 Tomer began his specialization at the law offices of GKH, Gross, Kleinhendlar, Hodak, HaLevy, Greenberg & Co in the department of mergers and acquisitions. After the completion of his studies Tomer began working at the law offices of Herzog, Fox and Neeman as a lawyer in the Corporate and Securities department.

Tomer is involved in a wide range of social activities including working as a coacher for graduate law students from the ‘Savyon Center for Social Enterprise’, he also volunteered in the educational center “Ramat Israel” and was involved in public relations campaigns for the State of Israel.

“I joined Tebeka with the belief that with the provision of professional legal representation we can help change Israel society making it a more equal and democratic society”

 

Ziva Mtbbo, Attorney

Ziva was born in Ethiopia in 1983 and moved to Israel with her family in Operation Moses in 1984. She studied law at Bar Ilan University and after graduating in 2011, specialized at an Israeli law firm’s litigation department. After she qualified as a lawyer in 2013, she wondered if the private sector or social sector would be a better fit for her. As a student, she volunteered with the legal department at Tebeka, and after reflecting on this experience and revisiting the inequalities and lack of rights many individuals still faced in the Ethiopian community, she found her desire to fight for a more egalitarian society through legal action through Tebeka. Ziva feels privileged to be part of the Tebeka family.

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