The Kinneret Academic Center for Youth


The Kinneret Academic Center for Youth was established in order to develop and operate unique programs designed to boost the potential of youngsters in the north, and to achieve a significant increase in the number of students from the Galilee and the Golan Heights who are accepted for, and succeed in, studies at institutions of higher education, particularly faculties of science. The center offers comprehensive system-wide support, from preschool age through the end of high school, based on a range of activities for children, students, teachers and laboratory assistants.
The organization’s work is carried out in coordination and cooperation with the local education systems with regard to defining needs, selecting operational approaches and evaluation. The organization believes that regional vision should be improved, while also providing a unique local solution for the schools. The organization’s activity is centered on continuous updating and tailoring to changing requirements, while providing a wide community solution.

General background:

With the encouragement and guidance of the Rashi Foundation, the Ministry of Education, Kedem Atidim and other parties, it was decided to establish an academic center for youth, with the emphasis on the sciences, at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee.
The center was built with the support and cooperation of the Academic Center for Youth of the Tel Hai Academic College, and operates as part of the overall regional academic system, including the Galileom venture which advances the sciences in the Eastern Galilee and the Golan Heights (see Galileom).

The Eastern Galilee Cluster, which represents 15 local authorities, promotes processes and ventures that cross the local frameworks of the authorities, and bring the advantages of operating on the regional level to the forefront.

  • Cluster chair, Eli Malka
  • Leader of the Golan Heights Regional Council, chair of the Cluster steering committee, Dr. Orna Simhon
  • Director of the Ministry of Education’s Northern District/ Cluster CEO Nurit Tzur
  • Director of the Science Enrichment and Excellence Venture, Dr. Yifat Linder.

Youth excellence is a growing field and is gaining momentum at many institutions of higher education. This is driven by a social need to enhance accessibility to higher education for students in Israel’s northern periphery while focusing on encouraging students to specialize in the sciences and technology. In recent years there has been a significant decline in the number of Israeli high school students studying science and technology, and there has been a drop in grades in national and international examinations (MEITZAV – school efficiency and growth test, MAFMAR – central supervisor, TIMMS, PISA).

Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee has an academic infrastructure and a physical infrastructure for establishing a center for youth excellence, the core of which will be to engage in the sciences. The college has operated a school of engineering which awards B.Sc. degrees, and a school for gifted and outstanding school students for many years. The center works in conjunction with other colleges, research institutes and industry in the region. This cooperation offers a unique opportunity to lead change in the field of science education in the Eastern Galilee and the Golan Heights. The college activities are designed for the students, and also for the professional advancement of science teachers. The Kinneret Academic Center for Youth includes unique regional programs designed to enhance the potential of young students in the north, and to significantly boost the number of school students in the north who apply for, are accepted to, and succeed in their studies at academic institutions, with emphasis on science faculties.

Center Objectives

  • To enhance the connection to the sciences and technology (elementary school to high school)
  • To cultivate excellence
  • To increase the number of school students who opt for, and persevere with, science and technology studies, on a 5 study unit level, from 10th grade
  • To increase the number of school students who write 5 study unit level science and technology final papers, for their matriculation examinations
  • To help science and technology teachers achieve professional progress
  • To establish a system of cooperation between the schools and the college
  • To increase the number of girls who study science

The center (which began operating as a pilot project in the 2012-13 school year) operates a range of programs in order to advance its objectives: science enrichment days, science excellence programs for middle schools, 5 study unit level final projects and final papers, extracurricular science activities for young adults, science summer camps, and training programs for teachers and laboratory assistants. The activities are based on advanced laboratory infrastructures, while incorporating: schools, the college’s academic staff, and the industry in the north.

Modes of operation:

The center works to advance its objectives through a range of programs: science enrichment days, science activities at middle schools, science excellence programs, 5 study unit level final papers and training programs for teachers. The activities are based on advanced laboratory infrastructures, while the academic staff of the Faculty of Science and science teaching staff led the development of unique programs that focus on experiential work and developing thinking skills. In order to generate resonance for the academic-science activity of youths in the center’s programs, major community events take place which involve parents, other students from the schools and the general public. Students in the various programs take an active part in these events by presenting the results of their projects. In addition, emphasis is placed on incorporating trips to relevant sites and museums in the region, with a view to creating a bond with the place.

Target Audience

The programs are designed for children from kindergarten age up to 12th grade, science teachers and laboratory assistants. The programs are designed for Jewish, Arab, Druze and Bedouin students.

The Center’s Staff

Dr. Liora Glass Alon – director, Kinneret Academic Center for Youth
Dr. Ruthie Kaplan-Lavi – director, Water Sciences Research Station
Ms. Shiran Lahav – Water Engineering cadet program coordinator
Ms. Shai Geffen-Reutman – research coordinator
Ms. Cosette Tkhaukha – Young division coordinator
Ms. Ilana Tsafrir – Administrative coordinator
Ms. Manael Heib – Laboratory assistant
Ms. Jaqueline Heib – Laboratory assistant

Contact information:

Dr. Liora Glass Alon – 04-6653630, 050-2529596,
Dr. Ruthie
Ms. Edna Fichtman – 04-6653764,
Ms. Shai Geffen-Reutman – 04-6653764,
Ms. Cosette Tkhaukha – 04-6653706
Ms. Ilana Tsafrir – 04-6653759,

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