The Sheba Foundation is based in Jerusalem and is an Israeli non-profit organization, working in association with other humanitarian aid agencies, educational institutions and Ethiopian Jewish groups.

Strategic projects and educational intervention have been developed by the Sheba Foundation to accelerate successful assimilation of Ethiopian Jews into Israeli society. Projects aim to increase employment, equip and educate, support needy families and give hope for the future.


Dr. Jennifer Kaplan is the founder and CEO of the Sheba Foundation, established in 2003. Her interest in the Ethiopian Jewish community began soon after she moved to Israel in 1992 when she quickly developed strategic links with Ethiopian Jewish leaders and organizations. Her commitment and passion for this unique community soon led to a working co-operation, fund raising, resourcing and leadership training for the community. She has made several trips to Ethiopia to further understand the community and the needs of those who remain.

The vision of the board of directors is to see the Ethiopian Jewish community assimilated into Israeli society and to rise to a new level of independence and success. Ethiopian social workers and key leaders participate both in goal-setting and implementation of projects.

Project Director

Yonatan Wodage made aliyah to Israel with his family in 1991, before Operation Solomon. Afer he completed his matriculation in 1994, he studied at Overbrook School for the Blind, Pennsylvania, USA. He returned to Israel after a year and then in 1998, Yonatan graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a Bachelor of Social Work. Yonatan worked for 3 years at the National Council for the Child in Jerusalem as an ombudsman on behalf of the Ethiopian Jewish community. His work entailed liaising with other Ethiopian Jewish organizations.

Yonatan has worked with the Sheba Foundation since 2006 as Project Director, overseeing all educational and social assistance projects.

The Sheba Foundation Logo

קרן שבא

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is a symbol for both Israel and Ethiopia. Ethiopia's history is intertwined with Israel's over many centuries, through both fact and oral tradition. The ark of the covenant is believed to be held in the city of Axum, according to Ethiopian tradition, and the bible is full of references to Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Salasse (1892-1975) claimed to be the 225th direct descent from the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, and most Ethiopians have an inexplicable attraction to the land of Israel. But it is the Ethiopian Jews who have kept the authenticity and traditions of Biblical Judaism and are now mostly residents of Israel. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has become a common symbol of power and posterity for both nations. For the Ethiopian Jew it represents both the past in Ethiopia and the unfolding future in Israel.

There is a growing interest around the world in the background, current needs, and future of the Ethiopian Jews. The Sheba Foundation is a strategic link to the community.