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Transforming Communities: Leadership Empowerment Institute Prepares Tomorrow's Peace Builders

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

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Throughout the year, Dror Israel brings together Jewish, Arab, and Druze teens to engage in discussions about democracy, social justice, and building relationships. This summer, HaNoar HaOved's Leadership Empowerment Institute brought together over 3,500 teens from all over the country. The institute equipped them with the skills and knowledge needed to run local peace-building campaigns in their communities.

Teens practiced safety and scouting skills which they'll use on camps and hikes with younger participants.

During the institute, teens learned practical leadership skills such as planning hikes, facilitating group discussions, and organizing activities for children of all ages. They explored their roles as young community leaders dedicated to improving society. Important conversations revolved around conflict resolution and the significance of positively engaging with people from different backgrounds to foster a shared society. Rooted in values of volunteerism, democracy, equality, and peace, the teens learned to translate these principles into concrete programs. Yaniv, a 15-year-old from the Petach Tikva branch, shared about his experience: "We learned about workers' rights and how to ensure that other teens are not exploited in the workplace. I feel equipped with the tools to make a positive impact in my city."

Thousands of Druze, Arab and Jewish teens proudly finished the institute with a "Leadership Certificate".

After the institute, the teens return to their communities as junior counselors in Dror Israel's affiliated Youth Movement. They take on the responsibility of organizing weekly programming for children aged 9 to 15 throughout the year. With local branches in 650 cities and towns across the country, including 70 in Arab and Druze communities, the impact of the Leadership Empowerment Institute expands significantly. Tens of thousands of children throughout Israel benefit from Dror Israel's message of equality and shared society.

On the institute, participants met new friends from all over the country.

Seline, a 15-year-old from the shared Arab and Jewish branch in Jaffa, reflects on her growth: "I learned how to be a leader and a positive role model for younger kids in my neighborhood. I gained valuable insights that I am excited to bring back to my community." Just weeks after the Institute, Seline led mixed groups of Arab and Jewish middle schoolers during a week long day camp in Jaffa where she was able to put her new skills to use!

Seline and other Jewish and Arab teen leaders led an amazing day camp for local youth using what they learned!

Dror Israel's Leadership Empowerment Institute is making a tangible difference in transforming communities across Israel. By nurturing young leaders and providing them with the skills and values necessary for positive change, the institute is empowering a new generation to build a more inclusive and harmonious society. The impact of these efforts extends far and wide, creating a brighter future for all.

650 branches across the country will benefit from the leadership of these peace-building teens.

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