Center opens to advance employment in Israel’s Bedouin community
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Center opens to advance employment in Israel’s Bedouin community

Rahat mayor praises new Switch Center, funded by Australian real estate mogul, for providing new opportunities for young Bedouin men and women

Harry Triguboff, in cap, and Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan with Bedouin women who benefit from the Switch Center. (SNAP Photography/via JTA)
Harry Triguboff, in cap, and Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan with Bedouin women who benefit from the Switch Center. (SNAP Photography/via JTA)

JTA — A center for the training and advancement of employment in the Bedouin community has opened in southern Israel.

The Switch Center for Training and Advancement of Employment is a project of the Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute, in partnership with the Idan HaNegev Company and with assistance from JNF Australia.

The center contains classrooms, a room for computer workshops, a clinic, a multi-purpose hall, work spaces, offices, an auditorium, and conference rooms. It will have both Bedouin and Jewish staff members, according to a statement from the Triguboff Institute.

Israel is home to some 300,000 Bedouin, most living in the Negev in southern Israel.

The center of the Bedouin city of Rahat in southern Israel, February 16, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The center was opened earlier this month, in a ceremony at the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park, located on the outskirts of the Bedouin city of Rahat. Harry Oscar Triguboff, his wife, Rhonda, and his two daughters attended the opening. Australia’s ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan also was in attendance.

“This is a proud occasion for the city of Rahat, which is hosting the people who are helping Bedouin society. This center provides opportunities for young Bedouin men and women, and we take pride in our partnership with Idan HaNegev. … When there is employment, it is possible to achieve many good things,” said Faiz Abu Sahiben, mayor of Rahat, the largest Bedouin city in the world, in a statement.

Harry Triguboff is a billionaire real estate developer and one of Australia’s richest people. He is the founder and managing director of Meriton, Australia’s largest apartment developer and also the country’s biggest residential home builder.

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