ICEI targets elementary schools that have a concentration of Ethiopian-Israeli students from 20% to more than 90%. In order to avoid reinforcing negative stigmas about Ethiopian students, Ethiopian students are never separated out from other students for special instruction. The program benefits all students in participating classes, most of who are also from disadvantaged backgrounds. The children do not know that the program is in their school because of the Ethiopian students; they simply think this is the way of their school.
ICEI has grown from a 2007 pilot initiative in Netanya and three schools, to a broad-based program with 21 schools in ten municipalities -- Netanya, Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva, Rehovot, Hadera, Rishon Letzion, Or Yehuda, Rosh Haayin, Lod and Kfar Yona – in 2014-15. In each location ICEI partners with the municipal education authority and the Israel Ministry of Education.
ICEI has grown from a pilot to a broad-based program in ten cities with more on the way.
In 2013-14, ICEI directly impacted more than 3,000 children, 36% of whom are Ethiopian-Israel. Hundreds of additional students were affected by the improvement in teaching, management and overall school culture in participating schools.
Additional municipalities are also expressing interest in introducing ICEI’s program into their schools. ICEI is currently in negotiations with the Ministry of Education to significantly expand the program in the future.