Tzionei Derech (Landmarks)

Tzionei Derech seeks to galvanize the passion of young Israelis from all backgrounds, and religious orientations, to work together on innovative social activism and an exploration of Jewish and Israeli identity. We focus on the issues of academia; work; connection to the land; and social leadership

Location: Jerusalem

Description

No description provided.
Beliba Choma

About

Beliba Choma (A Wall in its Midst), founded in 2010, addresses the educational and cultural challenges faced by Haredim within academia.

Over the past several years there has been a sharp increase in the number of young Haredim looking to pursue higher education as a stepping stone towards improving their economic situation. There are currently over 11,000 Haredi students in academia in Israel, up from 5,000 in 2011, with thousands more continuing to join each year. These students often face significant barriers to success as a result of gaps in their knowledge of basic subjects such as English, math, science, etc., as well as cultural differences that impede their successful integration. As a result, according the Council for Higher Education, an astounding 60% of all male Haredi students ultimately drop out of academia.

Beliba Choma adresses this problem through pairing Haredi and non-Haredi students for one on one tutorial sessions. Every Haredi student in the progrem is paired with a non-Haredi student and the two meet once a week throughout the year. In their meeting the non-Haredi student provides tutoring on core subjects (English, math, computers, sciences).The pair then spends the next hour studying a Jewish text together, exposing the non-Haredi to Haredi culture and way of life, as well as to texts and issues that he otherwise would not encounter. As a result of this mutual learning/teaching experience, the pair goes beyond subject matter to develop a deeper relationship that eradicates barriers and does away with the negative stereotypes each has about the other.

In addition, all the program participants meet together five times a year for joint activities. The purpose of these gatherings is to enable the participants to meet each other, learn more about society in Israel and Jerusalem, open up for discussion the issues facing the Haredi and secular worlds, and create a sense of connection.

After graduating from the program, participants join our alumni network, where they continue to grow their relationships with other alumni and expand their networking circle, something that is often crucial to finding employment in Israel. They are also kept aware of and exposed to other opportunities.

Beliba Choma also provides alumni with assistance as they seek to obtain quality employment. This includes access to relevant job lists, support for both the alumnus and the potential employer throughout the hiring process, personal mentoring, an internship program, and seminars on practical tools for gaining employment.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Beliba Choma's mission is to help Haredi students in academia overcome their educational and cultural barriers to success. Successful integration of Haredi students in the academia will lead to narrowing the social and economic gaps between young Haredim and other sectors of Israeli society.

Program Goals:

  • Decrease in the number of Haredi students who drop out of their academic program
  • Enable connections and real relationships to grow between Haredi and non-Haredi students, enabling them to move beyond established prejudices and understand each other’s communities. For the Haredi students this is critical to reducing the cultural and social barriers that separate them from secular society in Israel.
  • Assist program alumni in their integration into the workforce in positions commensurate with their skills and abilities.
  • Create a significant alumni community that will be able to have a positive impact on the social discourse between sectors in Israeli society.

Back to Top

Program Description

The project is aimed at both Haredi and secular/national-religious students enrolled in higher education. Given the nature of education within the Haredi community, Haredi men have greater educational gaps (in math and English for example) then Haredi women. They are also more comfortable learning with other men. For this reason the vast majority of the participants in the program are Haredi and secular/national-religious men between the ages of 20-35. Some of the participants are single, others are married with children. While the Haredi men are at the start of their academic journey, the non-Haredi tutors can be either undergraduate or graduate students.

What does the program include:

  • Qualified secular students are selected and paired with struggling Haredi colleagues to provide personal academic support in different fields of study (English, Math, Computer Science, Physics, Economics, Psychology, etc.).
  • Haredi students provide their secular counterparts with mutually-respectful study of classical Jewish texts including Torah, Talmud, philosophy and law.
  • Throughout the academic year we hold a number of large events for all program participants. These gatherings focus on increasing dialogue and deepening connections between the participants.
  • A newly-built alumni network provides program participants with follow-up resources, professional networking opportunities, sustained motivation and cultural dialogue, and facilitation of jobs placement.
  • Program alumni recieve assistance in finding qulity employment. This includes access to relevant job lists, support for both the alumnus and the potential employer throughout the hiring process, personal mentoring, an internship program, and seminars on practical tools for gaining employment.

The program was first implemented in Jerusalem, and although it has since expanded to several different locations across the country, the core of the program and the majority of participants are still based in the city. The program focuses on Haredi students who have chosen to learn in general institutions and in fields such as economics, accounting, engineering, sciences and so on.

In Jerusalem we work closely with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Machon Lev, the Open University, and Machon Avratech (which provides Haredim with training in hi-tech related professions).

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

The program is designed to answer both an economic and a social challenge Haredi students face.

The first major problem is economic. Young Haredim who wish to enter the workforce often lack the social networks and the basic cultural and educational skills to do so. The community therefore becomes more reliant on social safety nets. Critically, the lack of academic success also hampers the ability of Haredim in Israel to integrate into the work force. Current statistics indicate that 78% of Haredi university graduates are employed versus only 39% of those without a degree. Furthermore, the average monthly salary for a Haredi man with a B.A. is 60% higher than that of those without a degree.

The second major problem is the social divide that both Haredi and secular communities experience. Many non-Haredi Israelis view military service as the melting pot of Israel’s array of sectors, and come to resent Haredim for their lack of service and alleged burden on tax-funded public services. Recent surveys have shown that 70% of both secular and Haredi people do not wish to know each other, and an astonishing 52% of secular Israelis fear to even cross through Haredi neighborhoods.

Opportunity: Between 2011 to 2017, the number of Haredi students in higher education programs almost tripled, going from 5,000 students to more than 13,000.

Obstacle: According to the council for Higher Education, 60% of Haredi students drop out during their academic studies, due to educational and cultural gaps. Assisting the increasing number of Haredi students to successfully complete their degree is the mission we took upon ourselves.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Beliba Choma was founded in 2010 and has grown substantially from year to year. As of today over 1,000 students have taken part in the project and each year the numbers of those seeking to participate continue to grow. The program is well known in Haredi society, and receives significant support and cooperation from within the sector. We have also been successful in receiving support and cooperation from the various academic institutions where we operate.

Beliba Choma is a proven success: 90% of Haredi students who participated in the program remained in school (by way of comparison, the general dropout rate for Haredi men in academia currently stands at 60%) and the grade point average of Haredi participants rose from 71 to 86. In addition, based on follow up questionnaires, 95% of participants, both Haredi and non-Haredi, are happy with the program and believe that it accomplished its stated goals

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The success of Beliba Choma is measured using the following indicators:

1. Improvement in the academic success of the Haredi participants

  • Drop-out rate of less than 10% of the Haredi program participants
  • Significant improvement in the grade point average of Haredi participants
  • 3.90% of alumni will successfully integrate into the work force in upwardly mobile positions

2. Improvement in the connection between Haredi and non-Haredi students. 90% of the participants believe that they made a real connection with their study partner and that this has led to a change in their attitude towards members of this group, a lowering of barriers and a decrease in negative stigmas and stereotypes.

3. Alumni Network and impact:

  • Increase the alumni network to 2,000 members within the next three years.
  • Provide additional tools and opportunities to alumni.
  • Increase awareness of the program to the general public in Israel as an example of a positive and successful experience of shared society.

Back to Top

Beliba Choma

About

Beliba Choma (A Wall in its Midst), founded in 2010, addresses the educational and cultural challenges faced by Haredim within academia.

Over the past several years there has been a sharp increase in the number of young Haredim looking to pursue higher education as a stepping stone towards improving their economic situation. There are currently over 11,000 Haredi students in academia in Israel, up from 5,000 in 2011, with thousands more continuing to join each year. These students often face significant barriers to success as a result of gaps in their knowledge of basic subjects such as English, math, science, etc., as well as cultural differences that impede their successful integration. As a result, according the Council for Higher Education, an astounding 60% of all male Haredi students ultimately drop out of academia.

Beliba Choma adresses this problem through pairing Haredi and non-Haredi students for one on one tutorial sessions. Every Haredi student in the progrem is paired with a non-Haredi student and the two meet once a week throughout the year. In their meeting the non-Haredi student provides tutoring on core subjects (English, math, computers, sciences).The pair then spends the next hour studying a Jewish text together, exposing the non-Haredi to Haredi culture and way of life, as well as to texts and issues that he otherwise would not encounter. As a result of this mutual learning/teaching experience, the pair goes beyond subject matter to develop a deeper relationship that eradicates barriers and does away with the negative stereotypes each has about the other.

In addition, all the program participants meet together five times a year for joint activities. The purpose of these gatherings is to enable the participants to meet each other, learn more about society in Israel and Jerusalem, open up for discussion the issues facing the Haredi and secular worlds, and create a sense of connection.

After graduating from the program, participants join our alumni network, where they continue to grow their relationships with other alumni and expand their networking circle, something that is often crucial to finding employment in Israel. They are also kept aware of and exposed to other opportunities.

Beliba Choma also provides alumni with assistance as they seek to obtain quality employment. This includes access to relevant job lists, support for both the alumnus and the potential employer throughout the hiring process, personal mentoring, an internship program, and seminars on practical tools for gaining employment.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Beliba Choma's mission is to help Haredi students in academia overcome their educational and cultural barriers to success. Successful integration of Haredi students in the academia will lead to narrowing the social and economic gaps between young Haredim and other sectors of Israeli society.

Program Goals:

  • Decrease in the number of Haredi students who drop out of their academic program
  • Enable connections and real relationships to grow between Haredi and non-Haredi students, enabling them to move beyond established prejudices and understand each other’s communities. For the Haredi students this is critical to reducing the cultural and social barriers that separate them from secular society in Israel.
  • Assist program alumni in their integration into the workforce in positions commensurate with their skills and abilities.
  • Create a significant alumni community that will be able to have a positive impact on the social discourse between sectors in Israeli society.

Back to Top

Program Description

The project is aimed at both Haredi and secular/national-religious students enrolled in higher education. Given the nature of education within the Haredi community, Haredi men have greater educational gaps (in math and English for example) then Haredi women. They are also more comfortable learning with other men. For this reason the vast majority of the participants in the program are Haredi and secular/national-religious men between the ages of 20-35. Some of the participants are single, others are married with children. While the Haredi men are at the start of their academic journey, the non-Haredi tutors can be either undergraduate or graduate students.

What does the program include:

  • Qualified secular students are selected and paired with struggling Haredi colleagues to provide personal academic support in different fields of study (English, Math, Computer Science, Physics, Economics, Psychology, etc.).
  • Haredi students provide their secular counterparts with mutually-respectful study of classical Jewish texts including Torah, Talmud, philosophy and law.
  • Throughout the academic year we hold a number of large events for all program participants. These gatherings focus on increasing dialogue and deepening connections between the participants.
  • A newly-built alumni network provides program participants with follow-up resources, professional networking opportunities, sustained motivation and cultural dialogue, and facilitation of jobs placement.
  • Program alumni recieve assistance in finding qulity employment. This includes access to relevant job lists, support for both the alumnus and the potential employer throughout the hiring process, personal mentoring, an internship program, and seminars on practical tools for gaining employment.

The program was first implemented in Jerusalem, and although it has since expanded to several different locations across the country, the core of the program and the majority of participants are still based in the city. The program focuses on Haredi students who have chosen to learn in general institutions and in fields such as economics, accounting, engineering, sciences and so on.

In Jerusalem we work closely with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Machon Lev, the Open University, and Machon Avratech (which provides Haredim with training in hi-tech related professions).

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

The program is designed to answer both an economic and a social challenge Haredi students face.

The first major problem is economic. Young Haredim who wish to enter the workforce often lack the social networks and the basic cultural and educational skills to do so. The community therefore becomes more reliant on social safety nets. Critically, the lack of academic success also hampers the ability of Haredim in Israel to integrate into the work force. Current statistics indicate that 78% of Haredi university graduates are employed versus only 39% of those without a degree. Furthermore, the average monthly salary for a Haredi man with a B.A. is 60% higher than that of those without a degree.

The second major problem is the social divide that both Haredi and secular communities experience. Many non-Haredi Israelis view military service as the melting pot of Israel’s array of sectors, and come to resent Haredim for their lack of service and alleged burden on tax-funded public services. Recent surveys have shown that 70% of both secular and Haredi people do not wish to know each other, and an astonishing 52% of secular Israelis fear to even cross through Haredi neighborhoods.

Opportunity: Between 2011 to 2017, the number of Haredi students in higher education programs almost tripled, going from 5,000 students to more than 13,000.

Obstacle: According to the council for Higher Education, 60% of Haredi students drop out during their academic studies, due to educational and cultural gaps. Assisting the increasing number of Haredi students to successfully complete their degree is the mission we took upon ourselves.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Beliba Choma was founded in 2010 and has grown substantially from year to year. As of today over 1,000 students have taken part in the project and each year the numbers of those seeking to participate continue to grow. The program is well known in Haredi society, and receives significant support and cooperation from within the sector. We have also been successful in receiving support and cooperation from the various academic institutions where we operate.

Beliba Choma is a proven success: 90% of Haredi students who participated in the program remained in school (by way of comparison, the general dropout rate for Haredi men in academia currently stands at 60%) and the grade point average of Haredi participants rose from 71 to 86. In addition, based on follow up questionnaires, 95% of participants, both Haredi and non-Haredi, are happy with the program and believe that it accomplished its stated goals

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The success of Beliba Choma is measured using the following indicators:

1. Improvement in the academic success of the Haredi participants

  • Drop-out rate of less than 10% of the Haredi program participants
  • Significant improvement in the grade point average of Haredi participants
  • 3.90% of alumni will successfully integrate into the work force in upwardly mobile positions

2. Improvement in the connection between Haredi and non-Haredi students. 90% of the participants believe that they made a real connection with their study partner and that this has led to a change in their attitude towards members of this group, a lowering of barriers and a decrease in negative stigmas and stereotypes.

3. Alumni Network and impact:

  • Increase the alumni network to 2,000 members within the next three years.
  • Provide additional tools and opportunities to alumni.
  • Increase awareness of the program to the general public in Israel as an example of a positive and successful experience of shared society.

Back to Top

Shabbati

About

Shabbati is a grassroots initiative that started in Jerusalem and aims to create a variety of engaging events that are Shabbat centric, and offer people new and engaging ways to celebrate Shabbat in their community.

Shabbat is considered by many to be one of the central and most important creations of the Jewish people, and one of the gifts that the Jews gave to the world. In Israel however, Shabbat is often a divisive rather than a unifying factor.

The goal of the Shabbati project is to offer a way to transform Shabbat into something that brings people together, generates connections within the community, and to provide rich cultural and community content on the day of rest, enabling everyone to connect to Jewish sources, each in their own way and according to their own worldview. The main goals of the project are expressed in its name Shabbati, which in Hebrew means both “Shabbat-like,” (in the sense of a feeling and atmosphere of Shabbat, which is different from that of the other six days of the week) and “my Shabbat” (expressive of a sense of ownership and belonging).

The initiative has received broad support among public figures, rabbis, and residents of numerous communities, including the full and excited support of the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rav Arieh Stern. Rabbi Stern even took part in the opening event of the project and spoke in praise of the initiative and its importance to Jerusalem

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Tzionei Derech (Landmarks) is a social movement that aims to harness the power of young people from all sectors of Israeli society to carry out social action, respond to the challenges facing Israeli society, and explore issues of Jewish and Israeli identity. The movement is inspired by the values of proactive doing, belief in social and personal responsibility, faith in our ability to bring about change and make a difference, tolerance, and connection to our heritage and tradition.

The movement has been operating ground breaking social programs for five years, with a particular focus on forging inter-sector relationships in academia, and connecting young people to the land and to agriculture, to social initiatives, and to our Jewish heritage.

The aim of the Shabbati program is to make Shabbat a relevant, unifying experience for the entire Jewish population in Israel.

The program works to create community spaces in which every Jew, along the entire spectrum of Jewish identity, can feel at home and enjoy a variety of cultural offerings while maintaining the unique atmosphere that makes Shabbat so special.

Back to Top

Program Description

How does it work?

.Each event is comprised of three elements: encounters, culture, and leisure.

Encounters: a central part of the concept of the initiative was to create a platform to enable residents of a neighborhood to meet each other, a kind of “neighborhood living room” where one could sit quietly and catch up with old friends, and also forge new friendships.

Culture: each event offers a diverse program of talks, lectures (by doctors, rabbis, journalists, neighborhood activists and so on), spoken word performances, yoga classes, stand up, learning in pairs, and any other cultural content that the community is interested in, as long as it doesn’t involve activities not permitted on Shabbat.

Leisure: the event takes place in an open space filled with comfortable sitting areas, board games, newspapers and books, as well as light refreshments, in order to create unmediated encounters for all the participants.

As a result the event is suitable both for those more comfortable with a structured experience and those looking for an inviting place to hang out.

In the winter months, when Shabbat begins early on Friday afternoon and ends early Saturday afternoon, the events are held on Friday night. In the summer months, when Shabbat begins late Friday afternoon and ends late Saturday evening, the events are held on Saturday afternoon (after the traditional afternoon nap, of course!). It takes place in spaces, such as community council buildings and other public centers, which are not places of business during the week

The initiative has been operating in Jerusalem with great success for the past year. We have held 13 different events in 4 different neighborhoods in Jerusalem, with an average of 70 participants at each one.

Each event is organized by volunteer residents and neighborhood activists.

Our goal is to significantly increase these numbers, expand into additional neighborhoods in Jerusalem and other cities, and gain exposure to as many Israelis as possible, by offering a sane Shabbat alternative, that connects people and brings them closer together.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

In recent years Shabbat has featured in the headlines as a political issue and a flashpoint of debate between ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews regarding the opening of businesses on Shabbat. In parallel there has been a significant erosion of the idea of Shabbat as a day off, with tens of thousands of Israelis working on what should be their day of rest, not always by choice.

Author Ahad Ha’Am once said that more than the Jews keep Shabbat, Shabbat keeps the Jews. We believe that Shabbat represents a powerful element of our Jewish identity, over which no particular segment has ownership. Shabbat, which speaks to the essence of what it means to be Jewish, is above petty political disputes.

Shabbat also has a role to play beyond its religious connotations. It serves an important purpose as a day of rest from work and as a day to devote to culture and the life of the spirit.

Currently there is a dichotomy in regards to celebrating Shabbat, either one chooses to mark Shabbat in the traditional/religious way or one marks Shabbat as a day of rest but without Jewish content and sometime the difference between Shabbat and the other days of the week blur.


Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Tzionei Derech is in its fifth year, and has developed and implemented several ground breaking initiatives that connect between Israelis from different segments of the population, and connect young people to their heritage and tradition.

Beliba Choma pairs Haredi students with non-Haredi students, who help them to overcome their social, cultural, and academic barriers to success and in the process both learn to let go of their prejudices and mistrust. Katif Yisraeli brings university students together for a summer-long program of working the land and learning about Israeli and Jewish culture.Ma’ayan Bamidbar pairs Jewish university students with their Bedouin counterparts, to provide the latter with academic assistance while lowering the barriers between them

Shabbati, although only a year old, has, in this short amount of time, gained significant recognition, spread quickly from one neighborhood to another, and received broad support from all sectors of the population – Orthodox, Haredi, traditional, and secular.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We will measure the success of the project in the following ways:

1.By the continued growth in the number of events that take place, and in the number of participating neighborhoods. Our goal is to double our activities each year.

2.By the extent to which it continues to attract the widest possible range of participants to each event.

3.By the increase in the number of volunteers and activists that assume responsibility for the organization and implementation of the events in their neighborhood.

Back to Top

Shabbati

About

Shabbati is a grassroots initiative that started in Jerusalem and aims to create a variety of engaging events that are Shabbat centric, and offer people new and engaging ways to celebrate Shabbat in their community.

Shabbat is considered by many to be one of the central and most important creations of the Jewish people, and one of the gifts that the Jews gave to the world. In Israel however, Shabbat is often a divisive rather than a unifying factor.

The goal of the Shabbati project is to offer a way to transform Shabbat into something that brings people together, generates connections within the community, and to provide rich cultural and community content on the day of rest, enabling everyone to connect to Jewish sources, each in their own way and according to their own worldview. The main goals of the project are expressed in its name Shabbati, which in Hebrew means both “Shabbat-like,” (in the sense of a feeling and atmosphere of Shabbat, which is different from that of the other six days of the week) and “my Shabbat” (expressive of a sense of ownership and belonging).

The initiative has received broad support among public figures, rabbis, and residents of numerous communities, including the full and excited support of the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rav Arieh Stern. Rabbi Stern even took part in the opening event of the project and spoke in praise of the initiative and its importance to Jerusalem

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Tzionei Derech (Landmarks) is a social movement that aims to harness the power of young people from all sectors of Israeli society to carry out social action, respond to the challenges facing Israeli society, and explore issues of Jewish and Israeli identity. The movement is inspired by the values of proactive doing, belief in social and personal responsibility, faith in our ability to bring about change and make a difference, tolerance, and connection to our heritage and tradition.

The movement has been operating ground breaking social programs for five years, with a particular focus on forging inter-sector relationships in academia, and connecting young people to the land and to agriculture, to social initiatives, and to our Jewish heritage.

The aim of the Shabbati program is to make Shabbat a relevant, unifying experience for the entire Jewish population in Israel.

The program works to create community spaces in which every Jew, along the entire spectrum of Jewish identity, can feel at home and enjoy a variety of cultural offerings while maintaining the unique atmosphere that makes Shabbat so special.

Back to Top

Program Description

How does it work?

.Each event is comprised of three elements: encounters, culture, and leisure.

Encounters: a central part of the concept of the initiative was to create a platform to enable residents of a neighborhood to meet each other, a kind of “neighborhood living room” where one could sit quietly and catch up with old friends, and also forge new friendships.

Culture: each event offers a diverse program of talks, lectures (by doctors, rabbis, journalists, neighborhood activists and so on), spoken word performances, yoga classes, stand up, learning in pairs, and any other cultural content that the community is interested in, as long as it doesn’t involve activities not permitted on Shabbat.

Leisure: the event takes place in an open space filled with comfortable sitting areas, board games, newspapers and books, as well as light refreshments, in order to create unmediated encounters for all the participants.

As a result the event is suitable both for those more comfortable with a structured experience and those looking for an inviting place to hang out.

In the winter months, when Shabbat begins early on Friday afternoon and ends early Saturday afternoon, the events are held on Friday night. In the summer months, when Shabbat begins late Friday afternoon and ends late Saturday evening, the events are held on Saturday afternoon (after the traditional afternoon nap, of course!). It takes place in spaces, such as community council buildings and other public centers, which are not places of business during the week

The initiative has been operating in Jerusalem with great success for the past year. We have held 13 different events in 4 different neighborhoods in Jerusalem, with an average of 70 participants at each one.

Each event is organized by volunteer residents and neighborhood activists.

Our goal is to significantly increase these numbers, expand into additional neighborhoods in Jerusalem and other cities, and gain exposure to as many Israelis as possible, by offering a sane Shabbat alternative, that connects people and brings them closer together.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

In recent years Shabbat has featured in the headlines as a political issue and a flashpoint of debate between ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews regarding the opening of businesses on Shabbat. In parallel there has been a significant erosion of the idea of Shabbat as a day off, with tens of thousands of Israelis working on what should be their day of rest, not always by choice.

Author Ahad Ha’Am once said that more than the Jews keep Shabbat, Shabbat keeps the Jews. We believe that Shabbat represents a powerful element of our Jewish identity, over which no particular segment has ownership. Shabbat, which speaks to the essence of what it means to be Jewish, is above petty political disputes.

Shabbat also has a role to play beyond its religious connotations. It serves an important purpose as a day of rest from work and as a day to devote to culture and the life of the spirit.

Currently there is a dichotomy in regards to celebrating Shabbat, either one chooses to mark Shabbat in the traditional/religious way or one marks Shabbat as a day of rest but without Jewish content and sometime the difference between Shabbat and the other days of the week blur.


Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Tzionei Derech is in its fifth year, and has developed and implemented several ground breaking initiatives that connect between Israelis from different segments of the population, and connect young people to their heritage and tradition.

Beliba Choma pairs Haredi students with non-Haredi students, who help them to overcome their social, cultural, and academic barriers to success and in the process both learn to let go of their prejudices and mistrust. Katif Yisraeli brings university students together for a summer-long program of working the land and learning about Israeli and Jewish culture.Ma’ayan Bamidbar pairs Jewish university students with their Bedouin counterparts, to provide the latter with academic assistance while lowering the barriers between them

Shabbati, although only a year old, has, in this short amount of time, gained significant recognition, spread quickly from one neighborhood to another, and received broad support from all sectors of the population – Orthodox, Haredi, traditional, and secular.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We will measure the success of the project in the following ways:

1.By the continued growth in the number of events that take place, and in the number of participating neighborhoods. Our goal is to double our activities each year.

2.By the extent to which it continues to attract the widest possible range of participants to each event.

3.By the increase in the number of volunteers and activists that assume responsibility for the organization and implementation of the events in their neighborhood.

Back to Top

Wellspring in the Desert (Ma’ayan Bamidbar) in Jerusalem

About

 Wellspring in the Desert (Ma’ayan Bamidbar) is a mutual academic tutoring program between Jewish and Arab students that takes place throughout the academic year. The program aims to serve as a bridge between students from each of the sectors, while providing Arab students with the additional academic support they need to succeed and expanding the Jewish students’ understanding of the language and culture of Israeli Arabs. This focus was born out of the realization that academic studies and quality employment are the keys to closing economic and social gaps between populations in Israel and the need to strengthen the connection of young Arabs to the fabric of social life in Israel. The program has already proven success, both in improving the grade point average of participants as well as in creating relationships between students from different sectors and lessening negative stereotypes


The Maayan Bamidbar project, active in Jerusalem since 2017, helps students from the Arab sector in east Jerusalem who have chosen to pursue academic studies in Israel, succeed, and builds bridges between Arab and Jewish students in the city.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The goals of the program are to serve as a bridge between students from the Jewish and Arab sectors in Jerusalem, while providing Arab students with the additional academic support they need to succeed and expanding the Jewish students’ understanding of the language and culture of the Arab community.

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Program Description

Wellspring in the Desert connects between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, using academia as a place of contact and neutral common ground and building a unique model that is egalitarian and inclusive. The goals of the project are to assist Arab students in their integration into academic studies and helps them overcome language gaps and academic challenges. It also facilitates the development of personal connections between Jewish and Arab students and serves as a platform for deepening the Jewish students’ knowledge of Arabic and Arab culture.


The program consists of pairs of students, one Arab and one Jewish, who meet once a week throughout the academic year. In each meeting the Jewish student tutors the Arab student in Hebrew, English, mathematics or any other subject needed. The roles are then reversed and the Arab student tutors the Jewish one in spoken Arabic. This provides an opening through which to learn more about Arab culture and facilitates dialogue and a sense of reciprocity and equality between the two. There are also four group meetings that take place during the year, which are an opportunity for all program participants to meet each other. The meetings enable participants to learn more about Arab society and related issues in Israel society in general, open up central topics for discussion and thought, and create a sense of partnership and connection between all the participants. 

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Demonstrated Need


The project was born out of the realization that Jewish and Arab students learn side by side in academic institutions, but the two groups never interact or develop any interpersonal relationships. In addition, Arab students often wrestle with language and cultural gaps that hinder their path to success and as a result the percentage of Arabs who decide to pursue academic studies is low and among those who do enroll in academic studies there is a higher than average percentage of drop outs. This lack of academic success will further hinder their successful integration into the labor force and negatively impact on their employment opportunities in the future.


 Jerusalem is home for both the Arab and Jewish communities, two very different groups who have little contact between them. In the past few years there is a feeling of change from both sides. On the Jewish side, there is a growing realization on the part of the government, municipality, and civil society in Jerusalem that greater resources need to be directed towards East Jerusalem, and ties between the two parts of the city strengthened. This isn’t a political question but rather an understanding that the success of East Jerusalem is in the interest of both sides. On the Arab side there is a new generation who is less intimidated from the West and understand that integration in the labour force is vital to their success.


This change is felt with hundreds of students from East Jerusalem choosing to study in academic institutes in West Jerusalem. This is challenging for many of them as their Hebrew is usually not at a high enough level and the cultural gaps are hard to bridge. Maayan Bamidbar addresses this issue by pairing Jewish and Arab students for weekly meetings in which the Jewish student tutors the Arab student in Hebrew and academic writing, and more, and then the two study spoken Arabic together.


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Program Accomplishments

Wellspring in the Desert has been operating for four years  with great success in the southern part of the country – in the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sapir College, Sami Shamoon College, and other institutions.


 In the 2017/18 academic year, we started the Wellspring in the Desert project in Jerusalem with students from East and West Jerusalem. The project, which is now entering the second year of activity in Jerusalem, is receiving huge demand from Jewish and Arab students. The unique model and method of operation of the organization proves that there is great ability to create relations of respect and trust and cooperation between the two parts of the city.


Based on our annual participant survey, the program is a proven success, significantly improving the Arab participants’ grades and decreasing the percentage of drop outs as well as enabling the creation of meaningful personal relationships and lowering negative stereotypes.  

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How do you measure the success of your program?

We use ongoing reporting on our CRM system, personal interviews throughout the year, and an end of year questionnaire to measure our success and evaluate the efficacy of the program components. We focus on the following parameters:


·  Decreasing the percentage of Arab students in our program who drop out of school as a result of substantial educational, cultural and language gaps. Whereas some 40% of Arab students drop out in their first year, less than 10% of the Arab students in our program have dropped out. We expect to maintain or improve this success in the coming year.


·  Enabling the development of meaningful positive relationships between Arab and Jewish students: previous years’ experience has shown that the format of the project does enable participants to form meaningful friendships with each other and we expect this to continue in the coming year.


·  Lessoning negative stereotypes: the personal encounter between Arab and Israeli students, together with group meetings within the framework of the project, enables participants to overcome their initial reluctance, understand the other more fully, and lessen the fear and hatred they often come with to the program.


·  Cultural exposure: the project format enables each participant to become more knowledge of the culture of their study partner. The study of Arabic affords the Jewish participant a glimpse into Arab culture and language, and gives the Arab student the opportunity to teach and talk about his culture. 


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Wellspring in the Desert (Ma’ayan Bamidbar) in Jerusalem

About

 Wellspring in the Desert (Ma’ayan Bamidbar) is a mutual academic tutoring program between Jewish and Arab students that takes place throughout the academic year. The program aims to serve as a bridge between students from each of the sectors, while providing Arab students with the additional academic support they need to succeed and expanding the Jewish students’ understanding of the language and culture of Israeli Arabs. This focus was born out of the realization that academic studies and quality employment are the keys to closing economic and social gaps between populations in Israel and the need to strengthen the connection of young Arabs to the fabric of social life in Israel. The program has already proven success, both in improving the grade point average of participants as well as in creating relationships between students from different sectors and lessening negative stereotypes


The Maayan Bamidbar project, active in Jerusalem since 2017, helps students from the Arab sector in east Jerusalem who have chosen to pursue academic studies in Israel, succeed, and builds bridges between Arab and Jewish students in the city.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The goals of the program are to serve as a bridge between students from the Jewish and Arab sectors in Jerusalem, while providing Arab students with the additional academic support they need to succeed and expanding the Jewish students’ understanding of the language and culture of the Arab community.

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Program Description

Wellspring in the Desert connects between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, using academia as a place of contact and neutral common ground and building a unique model that is egalitarian and inclusive. The goals of the project are to assist Arab students in their integration into academic studies and helps them overcome language gaps and academic challenges. It also facilitates the development of personal connections between Jewish and Arab students and serves as a platform for deepening the Jewish students’ knowledge of Arabic and Arab culture.


The program consists of pairs of students, one Arab and one Jewish, who meet once a week throughout the academic year. In each meeting the Jewish student tutors the Arab student in Hebrew, English, mathematics or any other subject needed. The roles are then reversed and the Arab student tutors the Jewish one in spoken Arabic. This provides an opening through which to learn more about Arab culture and facilitates dialogue and a sense of reciprocity and equality between the two. There are also four group meetings that take place during the year, which are an opportunity for all program participants to meet each other. The meetings enable participants to learn more about Arab society and related issues in Israel society in general, open up central topics for discussion and thought, and create a sense of partnership and connection between all the participants. 

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Demonstrated Need

The project was born out of the realization that Jewish and Arab students learn side by side in academic institutions, but the two groups never interact or develop any interpersonal relationships. In addition, Arab students often wrestle with language and cultural gaps that hinder their path to success and as a result the percentage of Arabs who decide to pursue academic studies is low and among those who do enroll in academic studies there is a higher than average percentage of drop outs. This lack of academic success will further hinder their successful integration into the labor force and negatively impact on their employment opportunities in the future.

 Jerusalem is home for both the Arab and Jewish communities, two very different groups who have little contact between them. In the past few years there is a feeling of change from both sides. On the Jewish side, there is a growing realization on the part of the government, municipality, and civil society in Jerusalem that greater resources need to be directed towards East Jerusalem, and ties between the two parts of the city strengthened. This isn’t a political question but rather an understanding that the success of East Jerusalem is in the interest of both sides. On the Arab side there is a new generation who is less intimidated from the West and understand that integration in the labour force is vital to their success.


This change is felt with hundreds of students from East Jerusalem choosing to study in academic institutes in West Jerusalem. This is challenging for many of them as their Hebrew is usually not at a high enough level and the cultural gaps are hard to bridge. Maayan Bamidbar addresses this issue by pairing Jewish and Arab students for weekly meetings in which the Jewish student tutors the Arab student in Hebrew and academic writing, and more, and then the two study spoken Arabic together.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Wellspring in the Desert has been operating for four years  with great success in the southern part of the country – in the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sapir College, Sami Shamoon College, and other institutions.

 In the 2017/18 academic year, we started the Wellspring in the Desert project in Jerusalem with students from East and West Jerusalem. The project, which is now entering the second year of activity in Jerusalem, is receiving huge demand from Jewish and Arab students. The unique model and method of operation of the organization proves that there is great ability to create relations of respect and trust and cooperation between the two parts of the city.


Based on our annual participant survey, the program is a proven success, significantly improving the Arab participants’ grades and decreasing the percentage of drop outs as well as enabling the creation of meaningful personal relationships and lowering negative stereotypes.  

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We use ongoing reporting on our CRM system, personal interviews throughout the year, and an end of year questionnaire to measure our success and evaluate the efficacy of the program components. We focus on the following parameters:


·  Decreasing the percentage of Arab students in our program who drop out of school as a result of substantial educational, cultural and language gaps. Whereas some 40% of Arab students drop out in their first year, less than 10% of the Arab students in our program have dropped out. We expect to maintain or improve this success in the coming year.


·  Enabling the development of meaningful positive relationships between Arab and Jewish students: previous years’ experience has shown that the format of the project does enable participants to form meaningful friendships with each other and we expect this to continue in the coming year.


·  Lessoning negative stereotypes: the personal encounter between Arab and Israeli students, together with group meetings within the framework of the project, enables participants to overcome their initial reluctance, understand the other more fully, and lessen the fear and hatred they often come with to the program.


·  Cultural exposure: the project format enables each participant to become more knowledge of the culture of their study partner. The study of Arabic affords the Jewish participant a glimpse into Arab culture and language, and gives the Arab student the opportunity to teach and talk about his culture. 

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