At a time when Israeli youth rarely meet their peers in other ethnic-religious groups, Allonim offers a unique opportunity to develop true long-term relationship based in mutual understanding and respect. The residential leadership program lasts for seven months and pairs Arab and Jewish Israeli high school graduates to create a new generation of leadership for a shared society where students live together and develop leadership skills in an inter-group setting.
In 2018, we opened three academies:
- Kinneret: Located in Beit Zera, just south of the sea of Galilee, is a collaboration with the Christian-Aramaic association and is composed of fifty percent Jewish and fifty percent Christian youth.
- Julis: Located in the village of Julis in the western Galilee, is a collaboration with Amirim and Kfaron and is composed of fifty percent Jewish and fifty percent Druze youth.
- Hardoof: Located in Kibbutz Hardoof in the western Galilee, is a collaboration with Sha’ar la Adam and is composed of fifty percent Jewish and fifty percent Bedouin youth.
In recent years dozens of leadership academies have been identifying leadership potential among Jewish high school graduates and offering them intense residential programs in the year prior to their military service. However, young Arab Israeli citizens are not afforded similar opportunities to develop their leadership skills and interrogate their Israeli and ethno-religious identity. This further restricts their social mobility. Since Arab-Israelis represent twenty percent of Israeli society, it is crucial that the Arab community develops young leadership with an understanding of its stake in Israeli society and a commitment to serve its community.
Allonim’s leadership academies are composed of half Jewish students and half of other ethno-religious backgrounds. The program invests an equal amount of time exploring particular group identities and building a strong Israeli identity based in shared values such as democracy, pluralism, and religious freedom. In addition to the academic curriculum, the students volunteer two days a week in the community.
This unique model integrating Arabs and Jews in a residential leadership program allows young Israelis to explore their particular identity, learn about others, and build together a better Israel.
The Yigal Allon Center would like to continue the legacy of building relationships between the different peoples in Israel.
Our vision is to have five academics operating in the Galilee by 2019, seven academics by 2020, and ten academics running by 2021.