The Center for the Arab Society at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo will be a pathbreaking academic and social accelerator that will drive large-scale impact on the integration of Arab citizens into Israel's economy and society. A home to MTA's existing and future 'head-start' programs in different areas, it will induce a synergic, integrative approach to the challenges faced by Arabs in Israel today: fostering social and academic entrepreneurship, and building collaborations among business, public and civic sector agents.
Arabs in Israel constitute over 20% of the population, and are the most disadvantaged social group in almost every respect: about 50% of all Arab families live below the national Poverty Line, compared with 15% of Jewish families. Workforce participation rate stands on only 42% versus 59% among Jews, and there is a 40%-income-gap between Jewish and Arab workers. The latter are particularly excluded from Israel's most thriving industries, for example: only 1% of all Hi-Tech workers in the country are Arab.
20 years of experience working with the Arab community in Jaffa have given us at MTA considerable expertise in developing social programs with local public, private and civil partners, with whom we have sustained ongoing collaborations, and have established our name as synonymous with hope for Arab youth in particular. Our diverse scope of existing programs lays the infrastructure for the future center.
The proposed Center for the Arab Society will house together our programs in a one space, providing a professional educational and therapeutic center. By pooling together these different intervention programs, we will not only utilize resources more effectively but also create a synergetic effect among them, enhancing our capacity to deliver effective results through knowledge sharing and mutual inspiration, and serving as a national replicable model center.