Yad Hanadiv established its programme area dedicated to advancing the Arab Community over a decade ago, in keeping with its mission to work towards equal opportunity for the benefit of all Israel’s inhabitants.
The programme has sought to address issues of great consequence to this community of 1.5 million citizens. Underpinning the work is the belief that success demands the active cooperation of the community with Arab leadership incorporated in planning and execution. We appreciate the importance of utilizing evidence and knowledge to build, evaluate and make course corrections in our initiatives, and try to instil these values in the organisations we support.
Yad Hanadiv, in partnership with the Government and the JDC, launched the Arab Employment Initiative in 2011 to address the need for accessible employment services (such as outreach, soft skills and vocational training, and interview preparation) for Israel’s Arab citizens. It included the establishment of Alfanar, an Arab-led non-profit, to manage Employment Centres around the country. In July 2019, the Initiative will transition to full Government funding.
There are significant numbers of Arab students studying in scientific and technological fields, but the Arab Community remains underrepresented in high-level positions in academia and in the private and public sectors. The Arab Excellence Strategy seeks to encourage Arab talent in STEM – parlaying academic achievements of exceptional young Arabs in Science and Technology into leading jobs and academic careers, removing obstacles to advancement at crucial junctures.
Our grantmaking over the years has also featured a multi-year effort to advance the literacy of Arab schoolchildren, and to improve services and access for disabled Arab citizens.
Common to all our work in Arab Community is a desire to nurture and afford exposure to success stories, and to boost Arab leadership.
Yad Hanadiv's core strategies and major areas of focus
Yad Hanadiv’s grant making has included multi-year efforts to improve literacy among Arab schoolchildren. Difficulties in acquiring reading skills have detrimental effects on learning and can severely hinder development. Arabic speakers are especially challenged by differences between spoken and written Arabic. On the basis of linguistic studies of preschoolers commissioned by Yad Hanadiv, the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) was given support to develop a set of innovative curricular materials for young children, including an Arabic–Arabic children’s dictionary (the first of its kind), games and aids to prepare Arabic-speaking children for first grade. CET text books, digital content and teaching guides for Arabic language study by native speakers in elementary and middle schools are in use in hundreds of schools around the country.
Following a comprehensive review of the status of disabled adults in the Arab Community conducted by JDC, Yad Hanadiv funded a large-scale intervention designed to improve the response to the needs of this population and create a professional organisational infrastructure to support this. The project strengthens NGOs working in the Arab Community for the disabled and their families, provides access to information in Arabic, works to eliminate prejudice and alter public attitudes within the Arab Community towards the disabled. Masira ultimately established an Arab Philanthropic Fund relying on donations from within the Community – the first of its kind in Israel.
Yad Hanadiv's own publications and media, materials produced by our grantees, and other items we have found useful in our work