Absorption Center, Mevaseret Zion, Israel 2008

Absorption Center, Mevaseret Zion, Israel 2008

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The newly arrived Ethiopian immigrants in this photograph are staying at an absorption centers outside of Jerusalem until they find more permanent homes. Absorption centers provide temporary housing and an introduction to Israeli life for many new immigrants. The photographer, Zion Ozeri, explains how important these centers are: “The first few steps of any immigrant are very difficult not knowing the language, not knowing where to buy things, where to go. The Absorption Center helps the new immigrant. It’s something I don’t know if they have anywhere else in the world. It’s a place where you can ease yourself into it. For the first few months at least, they give them some money to buy food, and there is an ulpan (Hebrew class) for teaching the language. They kind of initiate them into new life in Israel, and how to deal with everyday things from the very, very simple things—like shopping in the supermarket—to finding a job.”