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The Reuven Surkis Program for Students from the Ethiopian Community

JCT empowers young Ethiopian men and women to improve their lives by enabling them to earn an academic degree and pursue careers in high-tech, business and the IDF.  Dedicated to promoting socio-economic mobility, JCT was one of the first Israeli institutions of higher education to offer specialized programs for the Ethiopian community in the fields of science and engineering. 

As a result of cultural difference, many potential students from Ethiopian backgrounds lack a strong academic foundation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and do not have adequate matriculation scores to directly enter JCT’s academic programs.  Often, they are the first generation in their families to pursue studies at an higher education institution. JCT offers a one-year, intensive Mechina (pre-academic preparatory program) to advance their academic skills and knowledge of Mathematics, English and Physics.  The Mechina provides private tutoring, reinforcement courses and individual counseling to ensure students have the conditions and support they need to succeed.  The Mechina’s Mentorship Program offers new students an opportunity to study with 4th year students in their program who can offer extra help as well as serve as a role model. 

To date, over 180 students have graduated from the Reuven Surkis Program for Students from the Ethiopian Community program and more than 50% have gone on to pursue graduate studies.  Ninety-five percent of Ethiopian alumni are employed in a range of professions in their fields.  In addition to changing the lives of those students who have graduated from JCT, advancing Ethiopian Israelis impacts the broader Ethiopian community and generates new paradigms for success.

In 2009 a scholarship fund was established in memory of Major Ilan Meir Raiz z"l for students from the Ethiopian community. Learn more about the fund