In early March, the Mandel Graduate Unit hosted students of Cohort 8 of the Social MBA Program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which is conducted in cooperation with the Mandel Foundation, as well as students and faculty members of the SKEMA School of Business, and introduced them to the Mandel Foundation and its activities.
During the visit, the Mandel Graduate Unit familiarized the MBA students with its work, as well as examples of the work of its graduates.
Naama Goldberg, a graduate of Cohort 15 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, opened the meeting and presented "Lo Omdot Mineged” – a non-profit organization that she founded to provide emotional, material, and medical assistance to women in the circle of prostitution, which she currently runs on a voluntary basis. In an inspirational lecture, she described her involvement in this project, which began with a spontaneous, human desire to help and evolved into a vision and mission.
Dr. Itay Asher, a graduate of Cohort 20 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and chief scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Education, described his job and his commitment to objective and professional scientific research within the organizational context in which he operates: as part of a government ministry.
Mohana Fares, a graduate of Cohort 10 and the director of the national program division of the Ministry of Education, presented the national program for advancing mathematics and sciences, which he is leading. He spoke about leading processes aimed at bringing about social change at the national level through the implementation of new and unique programs that create opportunities for students from all sectors and segments of Israeli society and that encourage them to excel.
The next day, the students were invited to the "Hand in Hand" school for bilingual education. Arik Saporta, a graduate of Cohort 2 of the Mandel Program for Young Leadership in the Periphery and the principal of the high school, presented the school’s unique model and described the events that led to the founding of the school as well as its current place in the Israeli education system. He emphasized the school’s efforts to refute stereotypes in order to bridge the gap between Israel’s Jewish and Arab populations and to build better understanding between them.
Gila Ben Har, a graduate of the first cohort of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, the former Director General of the Center for Educational Technology (CET), and today the head of pedagogy and digital learning at the Mandel Foundation–Israel, spoke to the students about her professional experience in leading change processes in varied educational settings over the course of many years. She discussed the main challenges facing Israel's education system, including the need to reduce remaining educational and social gaps. She also expressed concern that educators will lose their personal connection with students because of the growing role of technology in the process of education.
Dan Prath, a graduate of Cohort 14 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and until recently the director of Zur Lavon, Stef Wertheimer's foundation for education, presented the need to adapt today’s education system to the changing world and to the digital revolution. He emphasized the necessity for innovative learning methods and an innovative learning environment, and described his vision of the future world of employment and the technological developments that will affect it, addressing the challenges that will be involved and the opportunities for growth and innovation.
The students then had individual meetings with
Dr. Ruth Lehavi, a faculty member and dean at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership who is herself a graduate of the first cohort of the School; with
Tomer Oshry, a graduate of Cohort 19 of the School who is a Ministry of Education regional instructor for social and moral education in the southern district; and with Sharona Bar-Nes, a graduate of Cohort 16 of the School and a senior staff member of the Mandel Graduate Unit. These meetings enabled the students to become familiar with the Foundation and its work, and the dialogue that ensued provided the students with an opportunity to ask questions and to gain a concrete understanding of the trajectory of professional development of Mandel graduates.
Professor Pierre Kletz, founder and director of the Mandel Social Leadership MBA Program at Ben-Gurion University, and
Dr. Granit Almog-Bareket, director of the Mandel Graduates Unit, concluded the two-day visit by engaging the students in a discussion of the professional life of social entrepreneurs.