The Taliyah

Volunteer Gap Year

“Taliyah” (“Pioneering” in Arabic) is a gap year program for young Arab women recently graduated from high school. The program emphasizes the development of identity, community and belonging, and prepares participants for successful integration into the broader society. The program provides participants with access to new knowledge bases as well as academic and vocational counseling and tools.

First launched in 2003 with 20 volunteers, Taliyah has now grown to nearly 200 participants. Over the past year, Taliyah cohorts operated in Rahat, Hura and Segev Shalom in the Negev; Qalansawa and Kafr Kassem in Central Israel; and Ilut in the Galilee. Expansion to a new location in the North, Ka’abiya, is scheduled for this autumn.

Each municipal or local council is responsible for program implementation, with the young participants volunteering at schools and local community centers four days (30 hours) a week. The fifth final day is spent attending in-service trainings on a variety of topics: individual empowerment and identity, Hebrew language proficiency and academic subjects such as mathematics and computer science, among others. A sixth day is devoted to psychometric test preparation (in preparation for admission to post-secondary educational institutions).

“Taliyah” graduates

Between 2004-2008
On average 33%
Between 2009-2012
On average 77%

In comparison:
in 2012, the general acceptance rate for Arab high school graduates in Israel stood at 21%.

By 2020, we plan to expand the program to an additional six venues and will recruit volunteers from the AJEEC Youth Organization. This project expansion is being carried out in collaboration with The Abraham Fund Initiatives.

Rose Amar

Director, Volunteer Year Programs