Study: Ethiopian Jews Lagging Behind Rest In Israel

Study: Ethiopian Jews Lagging Behind Rest In Israel
Israel has long discriminated against Ethiopian Jews

AFRICANGLOBE – Ethiopian-Israelis continue to lag behind other Jewish Israelis economically, a study released Thursday by the Taub Center for Social Policy Research shows.

Although based on Central Bureau of Statistics figures from 1998-2013, researchers believe the situation on the ground has not changed much in the past two years.

According to CBS, Ethiopian-Israeli households had an average grossmonthly income of 11,453 shekels ($3,045) in 2013 around 35% less than the national average of 17,711 shekels ($4,710).

Researchers Hadas Fuchs and Gilad Brand estimate this gap is a result of disparities in education, type of employment, and salaries.

And while major strides are being made in terms of education and employment, gaps between Ethiopian-Israelis and other Israelis may be shrinking but are not going away.

The employment rate for Ethiopian-Israelis between prime working ages 25-54 rose significantly from 2009 to 2011, to 72%, but that number is still lower than the rate for the Jewish population as a whole, at 79%.

Only 20% of Ethiopian Jews who were born in Israel or immigrated at a young age have a higher education degree, compared to 40% of the Jewish population as a whole.

Although Ethiopian Israelis with such degrees are integrated well into highly skilled jobs at the same rate as the rest of Israel’s Jewish population, they are sorely underrepresented in managerial positions.

One glimmer of hope is the high school graduation rate of the younger generation of Ethiopians in Israel, which is at about 90%, similar to the rest of the Jewish population.

However, the report pointed out, a continuing glaring problem is Ethiopian-Israelis’ lack of access to “academic fields and professions considered more prestigious,” which has contributed to further inhibiting their wage rates.


By: Cynthia Blank