As many of you know, over the past several years AJEEC-NISPED’s programs have expanded significantly. While we remain rooted in our home in the Negev, our presence nationwide and internationally continues to grow steadily and surely. Our programs have received significant recognition and have been welcomed into communities around the country.
Taliyah, a full-time gap year for young Arab women who have just graduated from high school and plan to pursue higher education, is an example of a national success story that grew from origins in the Negev. A truly life-changing experience offering a variety of activities for academic and personal growth, each week participants spend three days volunteering in local elementary schools in their communities and three days attending workshops and preparatory courses. This past autumn, the program expanded to two new communities in the Galilee, for a total of 9 cohorts around Israel and a record 178 participants. Taliyah participants, who form part of AJEEC-NISPED’s national youth organization, Shabibat AJEEC, are mentors and role models for the youth of their communities, particularly for girls. Taken together, Shabibat AJEEC’s programs now reach nearly 5,000 school students nationwide through tutoring and volunteer programs. Taliyah and Shabibat AJEEC are truly bringing “light” into the lives of young people around the country.
At each location, Taliyah has been welcomed not only by young people and their parents, but also by local authorities and partner organizations. As they complete the program and continue their studies, Taliyah alumni are equipped with the skills, experience, and self-confidence to take their place as future leaders. Their experience has given them a base to succeed in their careers and to serve their communities.
As Chanukah is the festival of lights, we felt that it was a good opportunity to introduce you to some of the inspiring participants in Taliyah who every day are spreading the light of empowerment and hope in communities across the country. Our aim is that, within 10 years, there will be active Taliyah cohorts in all major Arab communities in Israel.
We firmly believe that Taliyah and AJEEC-NISPED’s other programs will continue to grow and expand, “illuminating” more and more communities around the country.
With blessings for a Happy Chanukah!
Kher Albaz and Ariel Dloomy
80% of graduates go onto university and employment
50% of funding comes from the government