In Israel, World ORT Kadima Mada (Science Journey) educational programs for disadvantaged youth and young adults enable thousands to obtain a solid academic foundation and skills for rewarding careers. Established in 2007, Kadima Mada focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) instruction in its educational network, affiliated schools, YOUniversity Centers, partnership with technical colleges and Kav-Or framework in hospitals; and it widens educational options in under-resourced peripheral areas of Israel to rival those in central areas.
YOUniversity Centers of Excellence after-school initiative offers courses in STEM, robotics, architecture and other subjects to a diverse range of students. Collaborative learning with industry experts, Jewish values and exciting competitions make YOUniversity popular with students of all ages.
A resident of the Arab town of Beit Hanina, Haitham has attended YOUniversity for three years. He has studied how to design and build robots, and how to work harmoniously in a team. “It’s good for life. I’ve learned about the infrastructure of machines and how things work, which will help me in the future. My parents are happy to see me learning and meeting new people,” Haitham says.
The 2017 top high schools in Israel chosen by the Ministry of Education include three in the Kadima Mada educational network. In Hodayot and Kfar Hassidim youth villages, and in the Levinson high school in Kiryat Yam, youth at risk facing academic challenges learn how to succeed. The criteria for ranking the high schools include the percentage of students studying science at the highest level; the number of students graduating with distinction; the percentage of graduates inducted into the IDF and other factors, all Kadima Mada objectives as well.
“Two years after we established our network, half its members are among the best,” said Kadima Mada National director Avi Ganon, recently appointed the new director general/CEO of World ORT.
“Our schools provide a supportive environment; we take responsibility for developing the values and personalities of our students,” said Ofer Yerushalmi, the principal in Hodayot, where many students are immigrants who failed in the traditional academic system. “The key to success are the teachers, who help students overcome distress they’ve experienced in their lives,” he explained.
Diversity in action, advancement and tikkun olam: ORT enriches over 300,000 people globally, and makes the world a better place. Please help ORT educate for life!