At a small carpentry shop in Haifa, Israel, the sound of pounding hammers rings out from early in the morning until the evening hours. Amir, who co-owns Kitchen in a Village carpentry with a partner, puts in long hours to keep up with demand. Work orders stretch out ahead and projects are booked months in advance.
Amir made his dream come true, thanks in part to ‘Kurat’ (which means ‘pride’ in Amharic), the CJP employment program that partners with the MATI-Haifa Small Business Initiative. Kurat provides Ethiopian Israelis with career development and entrepreneurship training that empowers them to move from low-skill, entry-level jobs to rewarding careers.
Through CJP’s Shiluvim program, Ethiopian Israelis gain the job skills they need in a variety of professions.
Kurat is part of Shiluvim, CJP’s program that helps Ethiopian immigrants become self-sufficient members of Israeli society. Thanks to CJP donors, this program has helped to launch 13 successful small businesses, and has also graduated 15 students from a nurses’ aide program in Haifa. Overall, Shiluvim has helped increase employment among Ethiopian Israelis from approximately 40% in 2006 to above 80% today.
Amir says the program “gave me a jump-start in life. The lecturers were excellent and helped direct my path to a successful business.” The course helped him determine the feasibility of his business model and calculate his costs and pricing, while also directing him to free marketing resources. Today, his business continues to grow with new clients, more equipment and an inexhaustible supply of creativity.
Shiluvim was launched in 2006 to prevent the Ethiopian Israeli immigrant community from becoming a permanent underclass, and continues to this day with consistent support from CJP donors.