The goal of the Absorption Center is to help integrate and prepare olim for independent living within Israeli society.
The Meron Absorption Center is located in northern Israel on Mount Canaan in Safed, the capital of the Galilee. Today, modern Safed has approximately 28,000 inhabitants.
The broad expanses and beautiful views of the city, together with open spaces in the center’s complex, contribute to a positive atmosphere, and connect the residents to a more traditional Ethiopian lifestyle. The center is in close proximity to a supermarket, post office, pharmacy, restaurants, cafes, weekly market place and health clinics.
The Meron Safed absorption center has 96 residential units in an open area complex. Units are of varying sizes, and have basic appliances and furnishings, including beds, closets, refrigerator, stove, chairs and tables. Upon arrival, new immigrants are welcomed with basic food provisions for their first days.
Activities and Special Projects
The Center provides activities for both adults and children. For adults this includes Hebrew studies, conversion classes, seminars and community activities, workshops on parenting, employment, consumerism and trips throughout Israel.
Activities for children focus on educational reinforcement and enrichment in subjects such as Jewish customs, festivals and Israeli culture. In addition, they have sports, drama, music, day camps, trips and more.
Activities are geared towards the different stages of absorption and assisting olim in becoming familiar with their new surroundings.
This summer, the Jewish Agency's Meron Absorption Center in Safed prepared its gan aged (nursery school) children for the first grade.
Heritage Room – The Heritage Center for the Ethiopian Community is located in the Meron Safed absorption center, which receives delegations and visitors interested in learning about the unique lifestyle of this community.
Seniors Club – For ages 55 and above, this club revitalizes and preserves the tradition of the older immigrants.
Women’s Cooking Workshop – The goal of this workshop is to familiarize Ethiopian women with authentic Israeli cooking, food products, preparation and safety measures.
Women’s Café and Current Events – Women come together to bake and discuss news, world and national events of the week.
Health and Hygiene – Personal hygiene instruction for women and girls is taught, as well as the importance for maintaining general health and disease prevention.
A professional and dedicated staff is responsible for the care of the new immigrants and for the daily running of the absorption center. The staff consists of a director, social worker, housemother, education, social and cultural coordinator and administrative assistant, and a support team of two counselors, three tutors and four mentors.