February 16, 2009 / 22 Shevat 5769
Twenty-six years ago Hadas Trongo Yossef’s family was living in the mountainous Gondar region in Ethiopia. Today, with the support of a Jewish Agency scholarship, Hadas is studying to be an architect, and dreams of creating sustainable designs that are both modern and complement the natural surroundings people live in.
After working to save enough money, Hadas began her architectural studies at Tel Aviv University. “I chose to study architecture because I feel that it is the only profession in which art can really influence and change a person’s physical world," says Hadas.
After two years, she transferred to the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem where she is now working on her final project: designing an environmentally-friendly absorption center model for Ethiopians that takes into consideration their agrarian skills and knowledge.
“"I have always felt very Israeli, but I am also very connected to my Ethiopian Jewish culture and the values and wisdom that come with it," explains Hadas. "I want Ethiopian immigrants to be able to live in Israel’s modern society, while also being able to capitalize on their ability to make the land flourish.”