Neurim Centers, Druze Communities in Northern Israel

Project Name:

Neurim Centers- Developing Volunteering, Identity, and Young Leadership 



Druze Communities in Northern Israel

"Maase" is a social organization established in 2004 in an effort to promote volunteerism and lead voluntary frameworks in Israel in a professional manner based on equality. Maase's voluntary programs are designated for young people aged 18-21 from various weakened backgrounds, who haven't had the opportunity to participate in voluntary or leadership circles, as well as youth aged 15-18 as a recruitment platform for voluntary activities.

Volunteer work is carried out in remote villages and includes volunteer work in education, development of social and individual skills, enhancement of leadership, identity, and cultural issues, improving education, and vision for the future. The process is performed under the individual and group mentorship of professional staff members.

The Neurim Center is a unique model of leadership and volunteerism in the Druze Community, first established in Maghar. Each branch initiates and operates education, cultural, and environmental activities arising from the specific needs of the community, with an emphasis on youth activity in an effort to develop young local leadership. The model proposes the activation of groups of youngsters based on age: an adult community (primarily students), groups of volunteers in Civil Service, and a young leadership group for teenagers. The leadership groups study topics of volunteerism and leadership, as well as development of identity along with volunteerism in formal and informal educational frameworks.

Building Neurim Centers in Druze communities will become an infrastructure for all teen and  young adult activity in the region, and a platform for various needs among teens and young adults, along with development of leadership and local volunteerism, working with at-risk youth, building a professional vision for the future, recreational activities, and educational enrichment – all based on the needs of the community and the municipality.

The Neurim Center has been active for five years as a pilot program in five villages. In light of its success, in April of 2012, the government made a strategic decision to expand its model of activity to all Druze communities in the Galilee, while expanding each center's activity. Within its partnership in the Neurim Center, the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation accompanies 50 young female Druze students from their year as volunteers at Neurim Centers and until the completion of their academic studies. The program encourages them to social-voluntary activity and accompanies them as they form their individual careers and select their profession, with an emphasis on their individual, professional, and occupational strengths. Throughout the year, these young students prepare for the beginning of their academic studies and for successful integration into the workforce. 


Academy for Life – From Civil Service to Academic Studies

In Israel, populations which do not serve in the IDF have typically low academic enrollment rates. In light of this overlap, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation created in 2012 an innovative model using community service year as a platform for personal empowerment and academic preparation. Along with career-choice counselling and soft skills, participants receive personal and group guidance throughout their academic studies towards graduation and integration in suitable employment.


The external evaluator's data shows that, among Arab youths:
Participation in Academy for Life increases participants' academic entry rate by a factor of three, compared with volunteers in other programs.
Participants show lower dropout rates than the general Arab students population.
Among young women at risk, integration into academia was 16(!) times higher than that of similar-population programs.

In 2016, the program significantly expanded to include Bedouin communities in the Negev, comprising 240 participants today.

Partners: Bat Ami, Mifalot Hinuch, Merkaz Maase, The Abraham Fund – Ajik Initiative, and the Civilians Build Communities organization in collaboration with the Student Union.

Career Counseling Center – Hadassah Academic College

The Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem is a socially-minded and employment-oriented college, which attracts students from all parts of society, including the Arab and Haredi societies and geographic periphery.


In 2013, the Foundation established the Career Counseling Center in order to provide crucial guidance to students and alumni towards successful entry into the workforce and suitable employment. Through personal counseling and workshops, the Center helps students obtain tools and develop skills necessary for planning and leading a career in the modern job market.

In 2014/15, 510 students were directly involved in the Center's activities, growing up to 836 students in 2015/16. The number of students and alumni placed through the center went up from 73 in 2014/15 to 122 during the following year

Promoting Studies In The Upper Galilee, Tel Hai College

Project Name:
Promoting Studies In The Upper Galilee Among The Jewish And Druze Population


Tel Hai College

Scholarships regarding Science Studies and the Druze population.
Tel Hai College began operating as an independent academic institution with accreditation from the Council for Higher Education in 1993. Graduate and Masters studies are now offered in eleven academic departments, along with a host of non-academic study programs. Since its inception, the college had also engaged in community academic activities that combine academic courses, research studies and activities within the community in many different areas.

In this context, in early 2008 the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation invested in a scholarship program to advance science studies and help integrate students, on behalf of Tel Hai College, in the nearby Upper Galilee communities. The joint program between the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation and Tel Hai College grants scholarships to encourage new students to choose scientific studies such as biotechnology or environmental sciences, and integrate them into activities that benefit the community, the environment and the study of science in Upper Galilee. The program includes students from different backgrounds in Israeli society: Druze, residents of underdeveloped communities, local kibbutzim and high school students who wish to study science in college. The students work in the communities, schools and the Sidney Warren Science Education Center for Youth at Tel-Hai College, tutoring high school students for enrollment exams and helping promote scientific thought. They help pave the way for high school students to pursue science studies in the future. This program creates a reserve of young students who will continue their academic studies in the departments of exact sciences and biology in disadvantaged areas.

The Rothschild Caesarea Foundation's program for the advancement of science studies strengthens Tel Hai College's academic position in these subjects and increases the number of participating students. The program contributes to community development by creating a link between the students and the community.

The Center for Technology in Distance Education

Project Name:

Shoham – The Center for Technology in Distance Education


The Open University of Israel

Over 40,000 students currently study at the Open University of Israel (OUI) using distance learning methods.  These methods are based on independent study from textbooks written by the finest researchers in Israel. Students cover the material at the time, location and pace of their choosing. Tutorial sessions are available for most courses, and conducted for study groups at different locations throughout the country, easily accessible to students' residences. The OUI devotes extensive resources to providing solutions for difficulties or special constraints experienced by its diverse student population. Integrating technology into distance education offers students additional tools to help them learn and succeed.

The Shoham Center, charged with integrating technology in distance learning, was established in 1995 to serve as a professional arm for the intelligent integration of information technologies into the OUI's teaching paradigm. The Center characterizes, develops, tests and implements technology-based, integrative, educational solutions that are designed to ensure proper study and intensify the learning experience for courses provided using distance education methods. The Center's staff is comprised of education and technology experts, including programmers, infrastructure and program testing specialists, as well as a large videotaping unit that makes it possible for live meetings to be conducted from the Open University studios, and also broadcasts sessions and lectures that may be viewed at any time.

Understanding the importance of developing teaching methods that integrate advanced technology, the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation resolved to come to the Open University's assistance. In 2002, the Foundation made a donation designated for the Shoham Center. Today the Center devises and tests solutions for study needs in cooperation with the academic departments, and when necessary, develops and adapts them to meet the requirements of specific courses. Education technologies make it possible to improve and enrich the study material, and develop alternatives to written textbooks and face-to-face instruction sessions.

It is OUI policy that every course should have its own website, functioning as a virtual study center. The online learning environment developed at the Shoham Center comprises the infrastructure and architecture for the course websites. Almost every course now has its own website, featuring many types of auxiliary and enrichment materials relating to the course. Ongoing communication takes place on the site between the students and instructors, and among the students themselves, at any time and from any place. Students can also find administrative information about the course on the site, and access the many online services offered by the OUI. During 2011, Shoham will gradually transfer the course websites from the old "Opus" learning environment to a new one, "Opal," based on open code. Another Shoham project this year is digitizing books both in portable reader format and on the Internet.

Contact Us

Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation

104 Rothschild blvd,

Tel Aviv
Telephone: +972 4 6174809
Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.