Rosh Hashana 5784 / September, 2023

Dear partners and friends,

Israel is still in the midst of a socio-political crisis that is bringing to bear a myriad of cardinal issues in Israeli society, and any way in which they are dealt will have long-term ramifications.

Still, Israel has always known how to face complex challenges successfully. This is owing to the determination, initiative, creativity, and human richness inherent in its diverse population. It is now more crucial than ever to preserve and nurture these assets. We must remember that there is a large majority in the country that shares core values. Despite our differences, this is the basis for living together and flourishing as one nation.

We must now look forward, focusing on our work to address some of the most acute national challenges. This means that we must redouble our efforts to effect root level changes that will narrow the socioeconomic gaps between Israel’s center and its periphery, bringing equal opportunity to all Israelis in the key fields of formal and informal education, family, employment, local development through municipalities, and more.

As the year begins, we grow stronger in our faith that we all want what is good for Israel. And we wish for a year in which we manifest this good together, using it for personal and collective growth. May you and your families have a wonderful new year!

Shaul Shani
Francois Leven
Michal Cohen
General Director

Capacity Building: The Next Generation

Our work in the field of local authorities is intended to capitalize on the experience and research-validated knowledge we gained from our city-oriented strategy. Realizing that cities have a direct impact on their residents’ access to opportunities, we seek to maximize this by providing professional guidance that helps to strengthen the managerial and organizational capacity of the municipality.

The main areas of guidance are:

  • Human capital – designing training programs for city officials, with an emphasis on department managers
  • Economic development – introducing strategies to broaden the city’s sources of income
  • Data-based management – developing IT systems and data-driven decision-making practices

The initiative is planned to reach approximately 100 local authorities (40% of all municipalities in Israel), most of them in the periphery, while bringing together strategic partners to create a cross-sector coalition of support. In this way we hope to impact the lives of some one million children, youth and young adults.

Education for Life – From Dream to Reality

Rashi’s ambitious initiative to advance informal, experiential education in Israel has taken a giant step with the launch of “Education in the City”. Applying the city-based strategy we developed to strengthen cities in the periphery, this move involves working with municipalities to significantly increase participation in after-school programs and integrate them into the formal education system, to give the children a well-rounded education and skill-set for the 21st century.

The initiative is expected to take root in 15 cities or more in the first stage, with further expansion later on. It starts with each city mapping their existing programs, the number of participants, the barriers to participation, as well as a survey among children and youth to identify their needs and interests. All the data will be entered into the municipal “Opportunity Center” that will then match and recruit children to activities. The database is being built by the tech-for-good volunteer organization Code for Israel. At the same time, a training course will be created for the heads of youth departments in the participating localities.

See the latest media coverage:
Education for Life: Social mobility through experiential education >>
How Experiential Education can narrow the employment gap in Israel >>
A city-based strategy gives Israeli children a chance to succeed >>

Rashi's Business Community

We believe in the business community’s ability to make a social impact and in the power of groups to drive change. This was the motivation behind the establishment of several circles of Israeli business leaders with expertise in different fields, who partner with us in designing and implementing initiatives that advance social mobility, to create a more equal and just society.

Each group focuses on an issue connected to Rashi’s main areas of activity – employment, education and local authorities, and addresses aspects such as promoting policy change, increasing public awareness, developing new projects, and more. The groups provide a space for mutual learning and for sharing practical knowledge and experience, forming an incubator for innovative, creative and scalable solutions to expand opportunities in Israel’s geo-social periphery.

Aiming high

PreTech is an exciting new joint initiative with the Ministry of Labor, Google Israel, Beyachad Foundation and Crown Family Philanthropies, whose goal is to increase diversity and inclusion in Israel’s high-tech industry. It has different tracks adapted for young adults from under-represented groups with the goal of closing the gaps based on their starting points. The different target populations include the Haredi and Arab sectors, Ethiopian Israelis, residents of the periphery and women.

The program operates in several stages, starting with online sessions providing an introduction to high-tech, followed by an ‘accelerator’ to build the participants’ sense of capability, strengthen their skills and give them a taste of the actual field, and pre-training that prepares them for entering academic or extra-academic studies and training in technology fields.

Sharing Knowledge

New R&D documents from the initiatives of Rashi and its partners (in Hebrew):

Springboard to social mobility 2.0

Executive summary of a policy brief that lays the conceptual basis for the connection between experiential education and social mobility, with recommendations for areas of investment to expand opportunities for children and youth through experiential education.

Springboard to social mobility 2.0Read More

Communities of Practice in local government

A literature review used to design the operating model of the joint initiative with the Ministry of the Interior, covering the different types of CoPs, the main milestones in their establishment and management, and examples of successful communities in Israel and abroad.

Communities of Practice in local governmentRead More

Young adults in Israel 2023

Summary of a comprehensive study commissioned by the Rashi and Gandyr Foundations to explore the world of young adults in Israel: what motivates them, how do they make life choices, and where can we help them?

Young adults in Israel 2023

... Read More