News and Events

Unique Educational Initiative Inaugurated at Rambam

Publication Date: 2/8/2024 11:00 AM
In an exciting collaboration between Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel, the Boston-Haifa Connection (BHC), the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, a unique educational initiative – a Hebrew literacy course for Rambam employees of Ethiopian descent – has been inaugurated.
Course particpants. Photography: Rambam HCCCourse particpants. Photography: Rambam HCC

Thanks to the Haifa chapter of the BHC (The Israeli office of CJP- Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston), twenty students, aged 30-50, mainly from Rambam’s Housekeeping and Custodian Department, will immerse themselves in 150 hours of Hebrew language study and develop their computer skills.

The BHC sees great importance in promoting equal educational and employment opportunities for Ethiopian immigrants and providing additional opportunities for veteran immigrants who still need to improve their language skills. “Educating and furthering the skills of Rambam’s employees is part of the hospital’s DNA, and it invests valuable resources in implementing this,” says Merav Sudri, director of the Administration and Housekeeping section of Rambam’s Human Resources Division. “Our natural curiosity is a tool for managing and improving one’s quality of life.”

Cultural differences and a lack of other skills kept these immigrants from learning Hebrew when they first arrived in Israel. Now, years later, they want to advance, be more independent, and not rely on their children to translate for them.

Together with the commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm of the BHC, Rambam’s Ethiopian employees will now receive an opportunity to improve their Hebrew skills. Sessions will take place twice a week for five months during hospital working hours, and Rambam management will allow the students to make up the time at the end of their usual workday.

Galit Kobi, director of the Department of Learning and Organizational Development at Rambam, expands on the initiative, "Following requests from our employees in the field, we invested significant time in planning this project. We were thrilled to find a genuine partner in the BHC, and with their support, we were able to make it happen."

During her course interview, “S,” whose son is an engineer, said that she dedicated her life to educating him, and now it is her turn. “Y” another course participant said that he was looking forward to the day his child would say, “Dad, can you help me?”

“The collaboration between Rambam and the HBC began with scholarships for the local Ethiopian community and children of Ethiopian hospital employees. We intend to support and assist in advancing the community, both in Haifa and at the hospital,” says Hila Perlman-Pniel, the director of the BHC. “The BHC has been active for over 35 years and currently operates in three core areas: leadership development, Jewish Peoplehood, and shared Society.”