How do you break decades-long cycles of deprivation and marginalization, lack of opportunity and lack of hope? Zefat Academic College (ZAC) is implementing a successful growth-oriented solution.
The College offers those previously excluded a pathway to higher education and an academic degree at the highest level; a guide to the pursuit of personal accomplishment and personal excellence; and entrée to achieve in-demand skills tailored to today’s fast changing economic environment. And ZAC delivers all of this with a unique understanding and respect for the diversity of the region and the nation – Jews, from secular to Haredi; Arab Christians; Arab Muslims; Druze; and others.
ZAC is a game changer, delivering cutting-edge educational programs and support services designed to address the many, glaring needs of Israel’s northern periphery. This region is Israel’s poorest: 30% of residents live below the poverty line and students at ZAC have the lowest socioeconomic status of their counterparts elsewhere in the country. ZAC serves Israel’s most diverse region: Zefat is a city with an ultra-Orthodox majority within the Arab-majority Galilee.
The most effective way to raise the economic and social status of individuals, families, and communities is higher education and training, leading to in-demand, well-regarded, well-paying careers. ZAC offers Bachelor and Master programs in Law, Social Sciences, and the Humanities, and, above all it is renowned for its Allied Health programs, which are among the best in the country.
With the generous support of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, ZAC has recently completed the construction of an ultra-modern Medical Simulation and Training facility, which will further enhance student clinical skills, improve multidisciplinary teamwork, and will draw professionals from all over the country. The Helmsley Institute will greatly improve treatment of patients in hospitals and response to mass casualty incidents, emergency situations, and military events.
Attracting poor and disenfranchised students into higher education is, itself, a challenge. Therefore, ZAC invests heavily in the people and communities of the Galilee. It offers supplemental educational opportunities to build the skills of local youth. It connects and engages with the local and surrounding community through a massive student volunteer program, which provides hundreds of thousands of service hours each year. And ZAC offers financial, academic, and personal assistance which first-generation college students and their families require.
In addition, ZAC provides its diverse student body with structured opportunities to learn about how to work with others, as well as tools needed to engage and function peacefully and productively in Israeli society. In the words of ZAC President Prof. Aharon Kellerman, “we are dedicated to building a culture that respects all its members and celebrates their contributions as we work together to transform our community and the entire nation.”
Clearly, the impact of this unique institution reaches far beyond its students: ZAC contributes to the building a more successful, more secure, more engaged, more productive, and more just Israel.
To learn more about ZAC’s many innovative approaches and programs, and to find out how you can get involved, please visit www.zefat.ac.il, or contact ZAC External Relations at 972-4-692-7931 in Israel or ZAC US representatives at 215-885-1550.