Alumnae 2019
Barhan Worku

Barhan Worku is an active student leader in Nishmat’s Identity Seminars on Wheels (Midreshet Masa)–travelling throughout Israel speaking with elementary and high school kids about developing positive self-identity while combating racism and prejudice. She completed Nishmat’s N.E.W./ Maayan Pre-College program in 2019 and spent this past summer working in Camp Shoshanim in Pennsylvania. Being an Ethiopian Jew in the United States was a very interesting and surprising experience for Barhan. Most members of the Jewish community she met had learned about Ethiopian Jews but had never met one and many Non-Jews she met didn’t believe that she was Jewish and Israeli. She related everyone with humor and a positive attitude and discussed her background, her traditions and her pride in being Ethiopian-Israeli. She had to work hard to convince the average person that she wasn’t Jamaican! Barhan feels honored to be a counselor for Nishmat’s Identity Seminars on Wheels, “My favorite part of being a student leader in Midreshet Masa is that I have the opportunity to share about myself and about Ethiopian Jewry. I love to see the reactions from teens who attend our workshops. They are just in awe. ‘Wow–we didn’t know about this.’ I feel so honored to be part of such an important effort.”