Israel’s popular Israeli Scouts Movement (Tzofim in Hebrew) recently hosted a national conference inspired by the Village Way Educational Institute’s work on issues of cultural diversity and identity. The Institute’s program, called “Multifaceted Israeli Culture”, provides resources and training to professionals working in diverse cultural environments, such as the Israeli scouts.

Tzofim is the largest youth movement in Israel with more than 80,000 active members in nearly 100 cities, towns and villages. More than 400 leaders of the national youth movement in Israel attended the conference held in Netanya.

Dotan Levy,  Director, Village Way Educational Institute, was the keynote speaker at the conference. He encouraged Tzofim conference participants to reexamine their ideas about the issue of diversity.

“We should be working to include more new immigrants and others –  not as a way of helping weaker populations – but as a way of strengthening this movement,” Levy said.

Diversity is a “resource for you and something you can gain from, rather than a problem or issue,” he said.

Today, over 1,600 Ethiopian-Israeli scouts participate in the Tzofim program. These scouts have an opportunity to bond with their Israeli peers and to form meaningful, long-lasting friendships with them.

The Village Way Educational Institute is a think tank of professionals with expertise working with at- risk youth. It provides resources and facilitators to share the Village Way holistic methodology with youth villages and public high schools throughout Israel. The Institute’s team works with educators in 30 partner communities including schools in Israeli-Arab neighborhoods..

Educational Institute Informs About Cultural Diversity

The “Multifaceted  Israeli Culture” program helps to increase participants’ cultural knowledge about Ethiopian-Israelis, build trust, provide tools for dialogue, and  develop a sense of belonging. In addition to the Scouts movement, the Educational Institute is also working with the Israel Border Police and the Israel Defense Force.

An education officer with the Israel Border Police said: “Each one of the officers learned something important from the Institute’s seminar. I was surprised to see how it is still possible to get such experienced officers looking at things in a new light.”

Click  here to see a video about the recent VWEI conference held at Tel Aviv University. Nearly 1,000 top professionals from around Israel attended the conference.

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