Friday, February 03, 2017

Ethiopian-Israeli teen delivers message of diversity

(Feb 03, 2017, (Jewish News))--Leah Avuno, who was born in Ethiopia, delivered a message about the importance of self-acceptance and the diversity that exists in Israel, where she now lives, in an address hosted Jan. 25 at the Hillel Jewish Student Center on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

Avuno’s address came after a screening of “Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew,” a documentary that chronicles a young soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces as he visits his home country of Ethiopia. The event was co-hosted by several different Jewish groups on campus, including Chabad at ASU, Jewish Arizonans on Campus (JAC), ASU Mishelanu and the AEPi fraternity.

Avuno was only in kindergarten when she realized that she was not exactly like everybody else. She had questioned a classmate for using the Hebrew word Ima to refer to her mother, confused as to why the classmate had not used the word for mother from Ethiopia’s native Amharic language.

The girl replied by scolding Avuno that she wasn’t in Ethiopia anymore. She was in Israel. “That was the day I realized that my whole world was upside down,” Avuno said in her talk. “Everything was destroyed.” Read more from Jewish News »

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