30 New York Federation Officials Visit to Learn More About IACC Efforts to Support Israel’s Ethiopian Communities

A unique meeting was held in Netanya last week with a delegation of New York Federation officials. The delegation, comprising of 30 senior members of both professionals and Federation leadership volunteers, came to gain a deeper understanding of the IACC’s programming, as well as the challenges that its community centers face, with a particular focus on the needs of Israel’s Ethiopian communities. This meaningful and unique visit is just part of IACC’s efforts to pursue

strategic partnerships and expand its circles of influence to better support Israeli communities that need it most.

The purpose of the visit was to show the Federation the work the IACC does on the local level and the potential impact it can have on addressing social challenges on the national level through governmental, business, and various other collaborations.

The visit began with a tour of the Heftziba neighborhood in East Netanya, guided by Mr. Avi Talla, current director of IACC’s 9th community center in Herzliya and former manager and founder of the Heftziba community center. Joining Mr. Talla were the center’s current director, Tal, and Smadar Daromi, the director of all IACC community centers in East Netanya.

After a tour of the neighborhood, the delegation gathered in the community garden for a tree-planting ceremony in honor of Tu B’Shvat, then experienced authentic Ethiopian coffee at Buna Cafe, along with “Teff,” a traditional Ethiopian bread. These delicacies were enjoyed with much enthusiasm.

Smadar Daromi kicked off the official meeting with a presentation on the various activities and programming provided by the community center, as well as the key objectives of this IACC branch specifically. Daromi was followed up by community officer Yakov Mekonen, who discussed the challenges of community policing, as well as proactive measures that were taken during last year’s summer break. IACC’s CEO Raz Froilich presented the organization’s overall programming and the proactive measures that were taken during last year’s summer vacation on the national and local scale, as well. The meeting finished off with Dana Zelinger Abutbol, who presented the findings of a study launched in 20 different Israeli communities that shed light on the experience of Ethiopian Israelis within these neighborhoods.