Developing Israeli-Arab High School Grads into Leaders With a Commitment to Changing Their Communities
The Jafra Leadership Program’s goal is to develop young Arab leadership with awareness and commitment to making change based on Arab humanistic and cultural values.
This program establishes cohorts of Arab youth from each participating town, with an option of including members from adjacent towns, who have completed high school and are in the year prior to university studies (gap year).
During the 2016-2017 academic year, Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, the Al-Amer Organization for Leadership Development and Social Entrepreneurship, and the Sakhnin municipality joined together to conduct a program aimed at developing leadership and excellence for the town’s high school graduates, the Jafra Leadership Program. The program was so successful that, during the 2017-2018 academic year, it expanded to an additional two municipalities – Turan and Abu Senan. As there is extremely high demand for the program, we are hoping to expand to an additional two towns during the current 2018-2019 school year, for a total of five municipalities.
Each group includes 15-25 young people who meet twice a week, and go through an educational process with the goal of increasing their self-awareness and sense of belonging, acquiring social and leadership skills through social action, and preparing for study at institutions of higher education. In addition to the semi-weekly meetings, each group attends seminars and trips around the country during the program, intended to familiarize them with the country and broaden their horizons.
The Jafra fellows volunteer in different departments within the local authority. This greatly assists the local authorities, and also provides each fellow with knowledge, skills and familiarity with the local authority and the programs it operates. Participants get to know their local government and community, and learn ways that they can make an impact.