Born in Ethiopia, Itzik Dessie immigrated to Israel in 1984 at the age of 13, arriving after a long and arduous journey through Sudan. He served in the IDF as the first Ethiopian Israeli combat medic, after which he completed an LLB degree at University of Haifa. Following his internship at Haim Zadok & Co. law firm, Itzik opened his own law firm soon finding himself inundated by Ethiopian immigrants in need of professional legal services but unable to afford them. This led him to found and establish Tebeka, a nonprofit organization, to address the legal needs of the Ethiopian Israeli community. He is the Executive Director of Tebeka. Itzik Dessie has also served as Chairman of the Nezigut, a forum of representatives of Ethiopian Israeli grassroots organizations and community advocates, was a New Israel Fund Law Fellow, and holds an LLM degree from American University Washington College of Law.