“Nishmat's program for its Ethiopian Israeli students is one of the greatest success stories in all of Israel,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and World President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (Keren l’Yedidut), who wowed Nishmat students and staff alike at the recent dedication of the Yedidut Wing of Nishmat's Alisa M. Flatow Building.
“At Nishmat…Ethiopian-Israeli students receive the message 'we are proud of you. We believe in you. Be strong. You can do it.' … Jews in Ethiopia gave their lives to follow their dream to come to Israel. Family members literally died in the desert making the trek to the Promised Land. I sat on the floor in the camps in Gondar, in Addis Ababa. I watched the children playing outside,” he said. Turning to Nishmat’s Ethiopian Women (N.E.W.) students, Rabbi Eckstein continued, “I felt your families' struggles. I heard how your parents waited and waited and waited for their turn to come to Eretz Yisrael. We are so proud of all that you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. We know it's hard. It's not enough for me that you are going to be leaders of the Ethiopian community; I already know you will be. I want you to be future leaders of Israel." This year, all 15 N.E.W. Pre-College students immigrated to Israel as children.