Pnina Tamano-Shata

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Pnina Tamano-Shata
פנינה תמנו שטה.jpg
Date of birth (1981-11-01) 1 November 1981 (age 36)
Place of birth Wuzaba, Ethiopia
Year of aliyah 1984
Knessets 19
Faction represented in Knesset
2013–2015 Yesh Atid

Pnina Tamano-Shata (Hebrew: פנינה תמנו-שטה‎, Amharic: ፕኒና ታምኖ እሸቴ?; born 1 November 1981) is an Israeli lawyer, journalist and politician. She served as a member of the Knesset for Yesh Atid between 2013 and 2015, and was the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a Knesset seat.[1]


Born in Wuzaba, Tamano-Shata immigrated from Ethiopia to Israel at the age of three.[1] She studied law at Ono Academic College, and became Deputy Chairman of the national Ethiopian Student Association.[2] She worked from 2007 to 2012 as a reporter for Channel 1.[3]

Prior to the 2013 Knesset elections she joined the new Yesh Atid party. Placed fourteenth on the party's list,[4] she became a Knesset member as the party won 19 seats. She was placed thirteenth on the party's list for the 2015 elections,[5] but lost her seat as the party was reduced to 11 seats.


Tamano-Shata was often the target of racism in Israel. As a child, she felt "different", and noted that she did not have any friends and other children threw stones at her for being Ethiopian. She was often involved in student protests against the discrimination of her community. In 2013, she wanted to donate blood but "was told that Israelis of Ethiopian origin were not allowed to donate for fear of spreading HIV".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b All the kingmaker’s men, and women Times of Israel, 23 January 2013
  2. ^ The people we help: Pnina Jewish Community Federation
  3. ^ Pnina Tamano-Shata : 1st female Ethiopian Israeli to make her way FJN, 23 January 2013
  4. ^ Yesh Atid Central Elections Committee
  5. ^ Yesh Atid list Central Elections Committee
  6. ^ Ethiopian-born Jews on life in Israel: ‘It was always my dream to come to Jerusalem’ The Washington Post, 10 July 2016

External links[edit]