December 14, 2008 / 17 Kislev 5769
At the age of 4, Vered (Amyosh) Ahihon, made aliyah with her family from Ambar in the Gondar district. Today, she is 29 and the youngest Jewish Agency absorption center director.
She spends her days helping new immigrants and using her experiences as a springboard for advising them. “I come from a family where education and the desire to integrate into society is the key to everything. I tell young new immigrants that you have to invest in order to get places. It takes two to tango. It's impossible that only one side will do everything. I tell them – take my family for example – they are all college grads. They are scattered and live everywhere throughout Israel. One of my brothers is a lawyer and another brother is an army captain. We are a large family and we fought in order to be absorbed. We fought with hard work in order to attain a higher level. You get places only through hard work. I tell the new immigrants: set yourself goals, invest the necessary efforts, and then you'll get to the places you want and realize your dream,” Vered states.
From a very young age, the Jewish Agency has had a significant impact on Vered’s life: "I made aliyah via Sudan as part of Operation Moses. I stayed at a transit camp in Gondar and then they transferred us by plane via Sudan to Israel. I arrived as a four year old girl at the Jewish Agency Atlit Absorption Center. There, we spent a year and a half and then we moved to public housing in Migdal Haemek."
Vered studied at the Migdal Or institutions of Rabbi Yitzhak Grossman, Shlita. Later, she completed a BA in communications and began working as a counselor for the Jewish Agency's KEDMA program. Her skills and talents led her to the post of cultural coordinator at Restal Absorption Center in Tiberias and today, she is the director of the Jewish Agency's Merhavia Absorption Center.
“For over a year and two months, I have been facing new immigrants like myself and I'm doing my utmost to make it easy for them because I'm familiar with their current predicament. I meet immigrants from Ethiopia in Merhavia and this represents for me the closing of a circle. I was once on the other side of the fence. I'm doing my utmost to minimize their difficulties engendered by cultural differences and sensitivities as well as bridging the technological gap etc." Vered thanks the Jewish Agency for “appointing a young, Ethiopian woman to manage the responsibility for 200 people. This is no simple matter and I'm convinced that they recognized my ability and made their decision on its merits."