The Institute for Democratic Education

Project Name:

The Institute for Democratic Education - Educational Pioneers

The "Educational Pioneer" Program identifies and trains high-quality education staff for management and leadership roles in Israeli schools. The program's distinction is in its dual faceted training: expanded academic instruction as well as hands-on training at pioneering schools – schools that are in the process of change and that are ready to become beacons of educational innovation. Most of these schools are in weaker areas on the social and geographical outskirts of Israel.

The process of training pioneers complies with the thresholds of the Ministry of Education, along with the conditions of the "Educational Pioneer" Program, and works in an effort to train educational pioneers to manage schools within five years. During their training, pioneers receive individual and group pedagogic accompaniment. Pioneers accepted to the program are awarded scholarships to complete their Bachelors' and Masters' degrees.

A pioneering school is committed to the evolutionary process of educational innovation, implemented through cooperation between the principal, the educational pioneers, and school staff. The innovative model is built individually for each school, in a manner appropriate for the school's needs and character. Simultaneously, it must address a number of basic principles, including: an educational environment, expansion of learning opportunities, and changing the framework of classes. As part of the process of change in schools, the role of the teacher at the school will also change, and teachers shall function as mentors and consultants on learning processes, mediating between children and their environments, with an emphasis on emotional support.

A pioneering school is an integrative school with a social-community orientation, working in geographic and social outskirts, and therefore aspiring to become a community center in its region, with afternoon activities, in order to comprise a source of attraction for diverse populations inside and outside the neighborhood. 

The Jafra Program – The Al Amer Association

Project Name:

The Jafra Program – The Al Amer Association


The Jafra Program is a model for a unique socio-educational program for empowerment and development of young leadership among high school graduates (aged 18-21) in the Arab society, who are prominent in social activity and are capable of higher education. This empowerment is carried out through the launching of a process aimed at clarifying and consolidation of core values and tools for turning vision into action. The Program offers study groups, empowerment, and leadership, community work, mentorship, individual training, and educational tours. The Program is implemented in one-year cycles, with each comprising 20 trainees. It is currently offered in the Western Galilee areas in the villages Abu Snan, Jededyah, Kefar Yassif, and Sheikh Danon.

The "Abu Jafra" organization has carried out four classes in Sakhnin and surrounding villages to date. Activity is in collaboration with municipal institutions, departments of education and welfare, and with organizations from the third sector. The organization accompanies its alumni through a dedicated alumni organization: "Jafra Graduates' Club".

The key goals of the program are identification of potential leaders, training and realization of their potential, while preparing them for emerging into the workforce, with an emphasis on preparation for academic studies. 

Social Entrepreneurship in Jaffa

Project Name:

Social Entrepreneurship in Jaffa


Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa

The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa was founded in 1994 as a joint venture of Tel Aviv University, the municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the Israel Council for Higher Education. Ever since its establishment, the college has championed high standards for academic scholarship along with an unwavering commitment to the community. The founders' decision to build the campus in Jaffa, a community beset by social and economic difficulties, underscores the particular relevance of the college's social vision.
The college initiated and administers a number of educational and social projects.  In 2007 it launched the "Social Entrepreneurship" program with the full support of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. The program targets a characteristic failing in disadvantaged communities – passivity.  Members of such communities rarely take the initiative to remedy and improve their condition and thus undermine the likelihood of sustainable social change.
The program therefore aims to foster and promote social initiative and social entrepreneurship within the community.
Mixed Arab-Jewish groups of college freshmen, all residents of Jaffa, are recruited to join the program.  Over the course of three years, in addition to their regular studies, they receive training in social entrepreneurship.  Specifically, they are encouraged to map their community, identify problems and shortcomings, design and implement solutions, manage the implementation phase, raise funds to sustain their projects and subsequently evaluate effectiveness.
Two key features make this program unique.  First, the interventions designed by the students must solve a real problem in the community, and their success is measured by the actual impact of the intervention.  Second, the intervention is not an academic exercise that can be discontinued or dismantled once the term is over.  One of the criteria of the intervention's success is its longevity.
Hence, prior to approval for an intervention to move to the implementation phase, students are required to show how it will be sustained beyond their graduation.
The number of important interventions already in place attests to this program's success. Some of the challenges they address include the need to strengthen the perceived value of education, particularly higher education; children's difficulty in coping with the transition from elementary school to junior-high school; computer illiteracy; and the challenge for young Arab women of reconciling traditional family demands and norms with their desire to study and pursue professional careers – to name but a few.

Meytarim - by Rabbi Malchior

Project Name:

Meytarim- A Network of Religiously Pluralistic Educational Institutions founded by Rabbi Malchior


The present public school system in Israel segregates religious and secular students. On the one hand, the secular public is almost completely unexposed to Jewish religion and heritage, feeling that these "belong to the religious", and on the other hand, the religious public is educated according to one clear and unequivocal path, and is ensconced in its own community.

Recently, the State of Israel has warranted the establishment of a third educational track, integrating religious and secular students. In order to succeed at this endeavor and promote the values of tolerance and generosity which are at the core of Jewish identity, there is a need to build a young leadership to head the process. The "Meytarim" Network addresses this need by creating an educational process leading to social and academic leadership comprised of young graduates of
pluralistic institutions.

The Rothschild Caesarea Foundation supports exiting frameworks during and after high school and academic studies, while assisting in the establishment of a Meytarim Alumni Community. The Foundation helps specific programs at Ort Meytarim high school in Lod, and Reut high school in Jerusalem, at the Pre-Military Religious-Secular Academy, at the School of Leadership in Gillo, as well as by providing student scholarships and founding a community of Meytarim Alumni.

Expansion of the Meytarim Network activity, along with the creation of a young generation of secular and religious leaders who promote the values and views on which they were raised, may lead to a change in the Israeli education system, while enhancing the connection to Jewish heritage and tradition and promoting tolerance and respect for others.

Kav Hazinuk – Developing Socially Committed Leadership

Project Name:

Kav Hazinuk ("The Starting Line") – Developing Socially Committed Leadership


Minimizing inequality and training vision-oriented leadership – these are two of the main goals faced by Israeli society. The "Kav Hazinuk" Association copes with these challenges by training high-quality youth from Israel's social and geographic outskirts, in a first-of-its-kind in-depth model. The Association's youth participate in a ten-year training program that starts in high school, continues in their military service and throughout academic studies – enabling them to express and exert their hidden abilities – each in his/her own area. The program enables its participants to make a significant contribution to the community and undergo individual development as future leaders in the areas of their choice.

Kav Hazinuk poses selected youngsters with the challenge of their lives, providing the tools and long-term mentorship required to transform them into the social, political, and business leaders of the future – role models for their and the next generations.

Kav Hazinuk identifies teens with potential and builds regional leadership groups comprising youth from the surrounding towns and villages. Every year, twenty of the students with the highest leadership potential are selected out of thousands in each region. The groups are formed under a plethora of cultures enabling the diversity required to create high-quality leadership groups around the country. Leadership values at Kav Hazinuk are based on integrity, social involvement and long-term vision, but above all – on groundbreaking social enterprise.

Within the Association there are currently 360 teenagers from 44 municipalities around Israel, who have affected over 60,000 people through their actions of social enterprise.

Inter-Religious Educational Leadership Program

Project Name:

Mosaica, Program for Developing Inter-Religious Educational Leadership in Jerusalem



East and West Jerusalem

In 2004, Mosaica's Center for Inter-Religious Cooperation established a new program for developing inter-religious educational leadership in Jerusalem, with the support of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation.

The main purpose of the program was to create a generation of Jewish and Muslim educational leaders, all committed to their religious identities, that would work together to expose school faculties and students to narratives from both sides of the religious divide, along with increasing mutual familiarity, understanding, and communication within schools and communities.

The goal of the program was derived from the "Alexandria Declaration" which called to create a positive climate for inter-religious discourse through education on an ongoing and continuous basis, in light of the great divide between Jews in Western Jerusalem and Muslims in Eastern Jerusalem, in all walks of life, including economy, society, welfare, culture, and education. 

As education is the primary arena in which religious, cultural, and social conceptions are forged, the Mosaica Center has chosen to train educational professionals to work as agents of change at schools, by exposing students to the culture, values, and historic narratives of the "other side". The program aims to provide the knowledge and tools necessary for a mutual understanding of cultural and religious backgrounds, based on the multi-dimensional model developed by the center, and for coping with negative brainwashing and education towards hatred.

The Jerusalem Program for inter-religious educational leadership is an unprecedented framework offering an opportunity for an ongoing structured discourse between the national-religious Jewish public and the Muslim public in Jerusalem, and creating encounters between principals and schoolteachers from both areas of the city – an extraordinary activity in itself. 

Contact Us

Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation

104 Rothschild blvd,

Tel Aviv
Telephone: +972 4 6174809
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