Tomorrow’s Leaders of Today’s Negev
The Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev helps mold future leaders of peripheral towns in the South.
The south of Israel: a periphery traditionally synonymous with desert, dust and a slower pace of life. Yet if we look beyond these antiquated stereotypes, we can discover vibrant southern communities, buzzing with young leadership and innovative enterprise for social and educational development of the region. Recognizing this potential, the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev (MCLN) is running a two-year community-based leadership program for the Negev towns of Eilat and Netivot. This Mandel initiative aims to prepare a cadre of future communal leaders to ensure the continuation and sustainability of the social and educational development of the two cities.
Netivot group taking part in a two-day outdoor training retreat
Each program has 20 participants and is comprised of promising mid-career professionals. In order to be admitted to the Mandel programs, participants must possess leadership skills, a proven record of communal activism, and social responsibility. Commitment to remain in Eilat and Netivot after graduation and to be active in the community is a prerequisite of the program. Participants include social activists, educators and municipal employees. Indeed, a wide variety of people have come together to form a group that intends to make a big impact on their cities’ future.
Both groups will meet over a course of two years. The first year consists of a weekly program of learning with guest lecturers from Ben-Gurion University, Sapir College and MCLN faculty. The second year will be spent planning and then implementing changes or a project that participants work on in a number of groups around one common subject. The program focuses not only on participants’ personal development but on their development as a group. Recently the Netivot group took part in a two-day outdoor training retreat aimed to build up group dynamics and common goals.
Each program has a slightly different focus, stemming from the preferences of group members and the relevancy to their city’s needs. For the Netivot group, therefore, education is more of a focal point, whereas the Eilat group focuses on treatment of minority groups in society, and the development of tourism.
The programs are expanding and have even attracted the attention of regional press,“The prestigious Mandel program in the town of Netivot has elicited growing demand among public activists who want to take part in the program” reported newspaper ‘This Week in the South’.
The fast-growing Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev was established by the Mandel Foundation in cooperation with the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 2004. The Center’s vision is to achieve a marked increase in the number of leaders in the Negev, who work according to a value-based vision and who can lead institutions and public systems towards the application of this vision.
To read more about the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev click here