Young Adults Centers
The Young Adults Centers program is a systematic strategic program that seeks to put the subject of young adults on the national agenda and formulate a general, regulated and comprehensive solution for their needs in their area of residence. The Centers strengthen the social and geographic periphery on a municipal level and create a young adult society with inner strength, leadership skills and social liability.
The program was initiated by JDC in Israel, in collaboration with government offices (the Ministry of Immigration Absorption, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry for Development of the Negev and the Galilee, the Ministry of Construction & Housing and the Ministry of Defense), public bodies and philanthropic foundations like the Discharged Soldiers Foundation, the Gross Foundation and the Gandyr Foundation.
The model for the Centers was based on research and surveys conducted among young Israeli adults with the goal of creating a platform that gathers solutions for all their unique needs under one roof top:
- Higher education and occupational-professional guidance and consulting.
- Employment preparatory and professional training courses and workshops.
- Founding and guidance of groups for social involvement and volunteering.
- Distribution of scholarships.
- Encouraging business and social entrepreneurship.
- Culture, sports and leisure information and activities.
The Centers function as a professional and social home for the young adults, strive to promote them in all areas of their lives and encourage them to be active and influential citizens in their community of origin.
The Foundation takes part in the work of the Centers in a number of ways:
- Grant awarding and professional guidance for more than a dozen Centers selected by the Gandyr Foundation.
- Membership in the field’s national board of directors.
- Assistance and support in training and professionalizing the managers and coordinators.
- Developing the field of nation-wide social involvement.
- Supporting the Young Business Leadership program which strengthens the connections between the Centers and local businesses.
The main achievements of the Centers for Young Adults are:
- 54 Centers are currently active nation wide.
- Each year more than 40,000 young adults join the activities offered by the Centers in the areas of education, employment, social involvement and culture.
- More than 90 leadership groups, mission groups and young adults groups are active.
- During the last year social entrepreneurship incubators have been opened.
- Nine active civic service groups for young adults at risk operate in collaboration with other organizations and with the National Civic Service Administration.
Bissan Salman, 21 years old, from Ramla, a political-science and communications student at the Bar-Ilan University. She is a coexistence activist and a volunteer at the Open House Coexistence Center. At the age of 15 she began volunteering at Arigatou International, an international nongovernmental organization for children’s rights, she also participated in a number of international conferences in Switzerland and Japan. Bissan was chosen as a role model for youth at an international conference in Tanzania. In 2010 she resided in Kansas, USA for two months and volunteered with the Jewish Federation and the Jewish community.
In 2012 Bissan finished her internship at the Israeli Fund for Unisef, during which she wrote a position paper for policy changing. During the same year she began volunteering at the Kshatot Center for Young Adults in Ramla and joined the Young Parliament group.