Modern Youth Violence Prompts CECI’s Students’ Rights Conference

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, CECI held a conference at Tel Aviv University entitled: “Steps for a Non-Violent Society – Implementation of the Students’ Rights Law” The conference addressed the dangerous phenomenon of violence and delinquency in today’s schools and how that could impact tomorrow’s citizens.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Negev and Galilee Silvan Shalom, who initiated the “Students’ Rights Law”, aroused great support and enthusiasm when he spoke of the importance of Israeli youths acquiring a higher education and the need to take care of their rights. “I think the “Students’ Law” needs to be implemented much better than it is currently.” Jutie Kanis, an expert on advocacy and policy design – UNICEF Branch Geneva, also addressed the topic, while Professor Izak Katz, President of the Research Institute Maagar Mohot, presented important survey results with alarming data:

  • Many students are fearful because of the violence, threats, drugs and weapons in today’s schools.
  • 15% of students indicate that they don’t feel school is a safe place.

A panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Yael Kafri (Faculty for Law & School of Education, Tel Aviv University) discussed the reality of implementing laws for students’ rights. Participants included: MK Ronit Tirosh – Former Executive Director of the Ministry of Education, Attorney Moriel Matalon Chairman of UNICEF Israel, Honorable Judge Galit Mor Vigodzki – President of Magistrates’ Courts for Youth, Mr. Ali Agabria – Director of “Nacal Iron”, and Ms. Eti Benyamin – Chairman of the National Parents’ Leadership.

MK Tirosh, one of the initiators of the “Student Rights’ Law”, explained the scope of the problem that exists in Israel. MK Tirosh praised the work of The Citizens’ Empowerment Center in Israel in raising awareness of this issue. She added that preserving the rights of the child, and maintaining his honor, will bring tranquility to the education system and will help Israeli society move forward.

Yuval Lipkin – Executive Director CECI – served as event moderator. This conference was the third in a series of conferences that CECI is promoting with the School of Education and the Certified Club for Management and Policy at Tel Aviv University. A second conference at Tel Aviv University is being planned for January 25, 2011, entitled: “Digitization in the Education – An E-Learning Education System in Israel”. Event keynote speaker will be Minister of Education Gideon Saar.

Inspector Ms. Tova Ben Ari, head of the implementation of students’ rights in the Ministry of Education, concluded the conference.

The conference was covered by various national media venues (newspapers, radio and television).

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Newsletter

The Ambassadors’ Visit

Israeli high school student, Shira Gushpantz, presented a moving address, emphasizing her commitment to Israel at the recent September 26th, 2010 CECI Gala “From Vision To Reality”.  The event was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Kodak Theatre Complex in Los Angeles.  The 5 top CECI “Ambassadors’ Project” student winners and award-winning teacher were honored during the evening’s program for their extraordinary educational achievements in civics and leadership.  The winners arrived in Los Angeles after an extensive tour of Washington D.C.  While in our nation’s Capital, they met with various legislators, including Congressman Eliot Engel, Congressman Henry Waxman, Congressman Howard Berman, and Congressman Brad Sherman.  They were also privileged to visit The White House, Capitol Hill, the U.S. Congress, and the Holocaust Museum.

“The Ambassadors’ Project” is one of CECI’s successful educational initiatives, encouraging “out-of-the- box” thinking and promoting leadership.

One of the evening’s highlights was a televised broadcast from Israel’s Minister of Education Gideon Saar.  Mr. Saar emphasized the importance of CECI’s educational initiatives and its collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Education, especially in regards to the new “Sig ve Siah Debate Project”, which has been created to empower the Youth of Israel and create a new generation of strong leaders. Film producer and entrepreneur Avi Arad was also honored with the 2010 “Legacy of Citizens’ Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contribution as an outstanding role model for today’s youth and for his commitment to education.  Actor and humanitarian Jon Voight presented him the prestigious award.

Over 500 guests were present, including:  Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Beverly Hilton owner Beny Alagem, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, Mayor of Beverly Hills Jimmy Delshad, actors Shaun Toub and David Dian, and the cast of the Beverly Hills Housewives.  Event Co-Chairs were:  Adele and Beny Alagem, Cheryl and Haim Saban, Parviz and Pouran Nazarian, and Dora and Neil Kadisha.
 
The evening’s entertainment featured a multimedia image and light show, featuring exciting modern dance by Body Traffic and vocals by Gilad Segev, Carmel Ekman, and Israeli hip-hop singer Nir “Kendog” Kedmi.

Below, please find links to some of the press coverage for your review:

CFM Music Scene and Entertainment News

Ynet

Youtube

US Magazine

Vicki Rubinson

Los Angeles Blueprint

Comic Book Resources

Calcalist

Israeli Week

Photo Credit: Orly Halevy & Moshe Barzilai

Become a fan of CECI on Facebook

Visit our website

Make a contribution

Leave a comment

Filed under Newsletter

A Mid-Summers Night Rendezvous

First 100 tickets are almost sold out!!!!

CECI Young Leaders Present: A Mid-Summers Night Rendezvous

Purchase Tickets: http://americanfriendsofceci.org/tickets

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Mid-Summers Night Rendezvous

CECI Young Leaders Presents: A Mid-Summers Night Rendezvous

Purchase Tickets: http://americanfriendsofceci.org/tickets/

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Politician is Born

Last week, the first round of a unique student training project came to a conclusion.  The project was created to promote civic interest in young Israelis and encourage those who want to pursue political careers. During the past year, hundreds of youths from all over Israel participated in “The Ambassadors’ Project”.  Spearheaded by The Citizens’ Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI), the project arranged for senior businessmen to visit high school civic classes and lecture on how government instability affects daily life.  Students participated in special quizzes on issues, such as democracy, and created projects on their own. The project’s highlight was the selection of 5 student winners who, along with a teacher, will fly to the United States for 1 week during the upcoming Sukkot holidays, to visit government officials and learn about American democracy.

The first stop on the students’ U.S. tour will be Washington D.C., where they will have a series of meetings with U.S. government officials at Capitol Hill. They will end their trip in Los Angeles, where they will meet with California politicians and various local officials.

Executive Director of CECI, Yuval Lipkin, stated: The project reveals that Israeli youths possess considerable knowledge about civics.  It also demonstrates that in Israeli high schools, there is a lot of talent to develop for future leadership. The United States trip was designed to give students an additional point of view on democracy, to increase their overall civic knowledge, and to reward students for their hard work during the year.

On Sunday, September 26, 2010, these winning students will be acknowledged at a high-caliber gala hosted by The American Friends of The Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel. In attendance will be prominent community leaders, members of the entertainment industry, and U.S. officials.

The student finalists presenting their projects at CECI offices in front of the referee committe and members of academia.

Michael Strauss, Founder and CEO of Strauss Group, lecturing at Ort Gutman High School in Netanya with the 11th and 12th grade students.

Become a fan of CECI on Facebook

Visit our website

Make a contribution

Leave a comment

Filed under Newsletter

Save the Date – CECI Annual Gala

Contact Information
Phone: 310-300-4120
Fax- 310-300-4101
Email- soraya@omninet.com
Website- http://ceci.org.il/eng/
Find us on: Facebook


Leave a comment

Filed under Newsletter

Israel’s 18th Knesset: Too Many Voices… Too Little Connection With the People of Israel

Recent research conducted by Tel Aviv University Doctoral Candidate Asaf Becker for “The CECI Forum for Government Stability” (posted in Yediot Aaronot, March 25th), reveals that the current Knesset is the most representative of Israel’s diversified society since the establishment of th State in 1948. That’s the “good news”. The “bad news” is that due to the great number of diversified groups, Israel now has the biggest government cabinet ever, and the wide coalition poses serious challenges to maintaining an effective, stable government. Today, the government of Israel has 30 Ministers and 9 Deputy Ministers; some of the Ministers are even without portfolio.

According to the study, the early years of the Knesset boasted a prolific Ashkenazi hegemony, but in the current Knesset, this has dissipated. Also, Sephardics are no longer a minority; they have gained significant representation in the Knesset, similarly, so have Ultra-Orthodox Jews. In the 1st Knesset, only 3 Ultra-Orthodox Jews were present; in the 9th Knesset, the number had increased to 9. Currently, there are 16 Ultra-Orthodox Jews who serve in the Knesset.

In the first days of the State of Israel, the Knesset was mostly comprised of people not born in Israel. Only 15 MKs who were born in Israel served in the Knesset in 1948. Two decades later, the number had increased to 64 MKs. Today, the number is 86, including Arab MKs.

The female representation in the Knesset has significantly improved since 1948, but it’s still far from representing their real number in the Israeli population. Although, they make up 51% of the population, currently, there are only 23 women. In the 1st Knesset, there were only 12 women, and in the 14th Knesset, there were only 9 women MKs.

Another important ethnic group to note is the Arab sector. In the 1st Knesset, there were only 3 Arabs MKs; in the 9th Knesset, the number had increased to 10. Today, there are 13 Arab MKs. However, considering that the Arab population is almost 20% of the Israeli population, there are many Arabs who are not happy about their representation.

The general consensus is that over the years, there has been improvement in the Knesset’s social representation, but it seems to have come at a “cost”. Becker clearly addresses the problem, “Today, there is more pluralistic representation in the Knesset. However, though we have more social groups represented in the Knesset, it is harder to govern and the Israeli government ends up surrendering to small ethnic groups. No one in the government plans any long-term policies because they would never get to see the final results and someone else would enjoy the benefits.

The current Israeli government system was adopted from the Zionist movement more than 100 years ago. Organizers back then wanted a system that could serve as a “voice” to the entire world Jewry. Today, after 62 years of Statehood, Israel is a “melting pot” of rich diversity with about 7 million people. Indeed today, there is better representation of Israelis in the Knesset with 12 active parties, however, due to the current flawed system, MKs are not accountable to their constituents. This is a serious challenge facing the Knesset. A solution must be found to not only remedy the problem of government instability, a solution must be found to ensure elected officials’ accountability as well.

Below, please find the full article from Yediot Aaronot.

Become a fan of CECI on Facebook

Visit our website

Make a contribution

Leave a comment

Filed under Newsletter