NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON ETHIOPIAN JEWRY INC

New York, NY   |  www.nacoej.org

Mission

NACOEJ is the only major American organization exclusively committed to the welfare of Ethiopian Jews.  Founded in 1982, it has four mandates:
To help Ethiopian Jews survive in Ethiopia.
To assist them in reaching Israel.
To aid in their absorption in Israel.
To help preserve their unique and ancient culture.

Ruling year info

1982

Executive Director

Ms. Barbara Ribakove

Main address

255 West 36th Street Suite 701

New York, NY 10018 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3187021

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Ethiopian Jews' were very poor in Ethiopia, largely illiterate, mostly subsistence farmers or artisans. They were discriminated against by other Ethiopians. However, they were devout Jews and longed to be in Israel. During the first mission to Ethiopia in 1981, it became clear that they needed help getting to Israel, and would need a different kind of help once they arrived in Israel, given the difference in cultures and experience. NACOEJ was therefore founded in 1982 with four mandates: to help Ethiopian Jews survive in Ethiopia; to assist them in reaching Israel; to aid in their absorption into Israeli society; and to preserve their unique and ancient culture. Barbara Ribakove was one of the original founders (after the 1981 mission to Ethiopia) and has remained the Executive Director throughout our 36-year history.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Limudiah: Intensive Education Program for Ethiopian-Israeli Elementary School Children

The program was created in response to disturbing underachievement by most Ethiopian-Israeli elementary school children, many of whose parents do not speak Hebrew and are illiterate in their native Amharic.

The purpose of the Limudiah is to give Ethiopian-Israeli children the scholastic help they need to succeed in school and make it possible for them to perform on the same level as their peers. The program provides 10-12 hours per week of teaching language, math and study skills in small groups (about eight pupils to one teacher). When the program takes place after school it includes enrichment activities including music, art and computers, and a hot lunch.

The program is unique in that it operates in the pupil's own schools, so that the Limudiah teachers can work closely with the homeroom teachers.

Population(s) Served

The High School Sponsorship Program provides funding for Ethiopian-Israeli youth in 7th through 12th grades. While basic high school tuition is covered by the Israeli government, many schools charge for lab fees, educational trips, etc., costs that are often beyond the means of Ethiopian families, over half of whom currently live in poverty. About 1000 Ethiopian-Israeli high school students receive sponsorships each year, with hundreds more on the waiting list.

Population(s) Served

NACOEJ sponsors provide Ethiopian-Israeli students a modest monthly living stipend that makes it more likely that they will stay in school. (While college tuition is currently covered by the Israeli government for many Ethiopian students, the cost of living expenses and educational materials often force them to drop out.)

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Unfortunately, all four of our mandates are still applicable, as some 8000 Ethiopian Jews remain in Ethiopia seeking to move to Israel. NACOEJ goals therefore remain the same: to help Ethiopian Jews survive in Ethiopia; to assist them in reaching Israel; to aid in their absorption into Israeli society; and to preserve their unique and ancient culture.

During the 1980's, with famine and war in Ethiopia, NACOEJ sent 18 missions to Jewish villages, bringing doctors, clothing and supplies. Subsequently, NACOEJ was the only organization consistently operating programs for the tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews in Addis Ababa and Gondar who were waiting to immigrate to Israel. In 2011, NACOEJ left Ethiopia and the Jewish Agency began running the programs until the aliyah was declared complete by the Israeli government. However, some 8000 Jews remain in Ethiopia, still waiting to get to Israel. While NACOEJ no longer has formal programs there, we are funding meals for hundreds of severely malnourished children and pregnant women in Gondar, Ethiopia.

In Israel, NACOEJ focuses on education because in many Ethiopian families both parents arrive(d) in Israel illiterate in their native Amharic, speaking little or no Hebrew, and lacking the skills to navigate the educational system or help their children with school work.

NACOEJ has been doing this work for 36 years and is recognized as an expert education-provider to Ethiopian children in Israel. Our Executive Director made over 30 trips to Ethiopia, and several members of the Board have begun to regularly travel there as well, personally assessing the needs on the ground and working with the Ethiopian Jewish community there. Our Israel Director is an expert on Ethiopian culture and religious practices and participates in all the formal and informal committees, forums, Knesset meetings etc. that pertain to our education work in Israel.

The Ethiopian Jewish community's move to Israel is nearly complete, but NACOEJ is still helping those who remain, both with actual support and through advocacy, working to get the Israeli government to allow them to re-unite with their family members in Israel.

In Israel, while much progress has been made, the integration of Ethiopian Jews has not been completed. Second and third generation issues are arising that require different educational modalities.

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON ETHIOPIAN JEWRY INC

Board of directors
as of 08/03/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Susan Giesberg

None

Term: 2017 - 2019

Faye Lieman

No Affiliation

Evely Laser Shlensky

No Affiliation

Joseph Feit

None

Lisa Schachner

None

Rachel Gottstein

None

Solomon Ezra

None

Deborah Goldstein

Winston & Shawn llp

Caryn Huberman Yacowitz

None

Barbara Ribakove

None

Sanford Goldhaber

No Affiliation

Peter Halasz

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Diana Yacobi

Mitchell Kaplan

Kaplan & Schultz

Jerome Epstein

Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Jeremy Feit

Susan Giesberg

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No