THE COMMUNITY LIAISONS PROJECT
In January 2008, the Council of Youth Movements in Israel began running a pilot program called Youth Movement Community Liaisons.
The objective of the project, initiated by Education Minister Yuli Tamir, financed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s Friendship Fund and sponsored by the Ministry of Education’s Society and Youth Administration and Department of Immigrant Absorption, is to help ease the integration of immigrant children and teens in the youth movements.
Knowing that the youth movements play a critical role in youth culture and in paving the way of teens into Israeli society, it is very important to us make this social resource accessible to the CIS and Ethiopian immigrant populations.
The movements that joined the pilot this year are Tsofim, Bnei Akiva, Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, Hashomer Hatsair, Ezra, Machanot Haolim, and Hanoar Haleumi. Each of them chose an existing branch operating in a neighborhood with a large number of immigrants on which to focus in 2008. The movements aim to increase immigration participation in each branch, troop, nest, or camp that is open for activity at least five days a week.
Each movement designated a coordinator on its behalf and found a liaison in the community from the same cultural background as the target immigrant group. CYMI places guidance and supervision resources at the disposal of the coordinators and liaisons, as well as financial resources meant to remove the monetary obstacle otherwise liable to prevent the full and equal integration of these children in all the movement activities.
The locations where the program is operating this year:
· Petah Tikva
· Upper Nazareth
· Kiryat Eliezer
The project is being overseen by a steering committee made up of representatives from the Friendship Fund, the Ministry of Education and the Council of Youth Movements.