Kiyat HaYovel neighborhood, home to approximately 25,000 residents, is located in the southeast of Jerusalem and borders Ein Karem, Bayit Vagan and Malcha. The neighborhood was built in the early 1950′s as a large a public housing project, designed to accommodate the thousands of Jews who fled from Arab countries during those times. Today, there are small parts of the neighborhood which are populated by upper-middle class residents. However, the majority of residents, who are of Mizrahi descent or new immigrants from Ethiopia and the Former USSR, still suffer from poverty and marginalization.
7 students and 1 volunteer at the Learning Community work with 20 children. The center is open 3/week. In addition, 9 teenage girls participate in a “girl’s group” with students. The group discusses topics of identity, religion and racism through the unique lens of young women.
The students at the Kiryat Yovel Learning Community are both Jewish and Palestinian, despite the mainly Jewish nature of the neighborhood. By working with Palestinian and Jewish students, we are able to model solidarity and partnership in our community.
In the summers, the Community in Kiryat Yovel hosts the ‘Transitions” program, a joint effort with the Communal Administration and other organizations to provide a summer preparatory school program for 6th graders transitioning to junior high. The intensive study program conducted by professional educators and volunteer students helps children close pedagogic gaps before the challenging transition to junior high.
The Steering Committee and Women’s Group are particularly active in this Community. Several of the active women created the “Second Opportunity” program which enabled 27 women from the community to pursue an academic degree at the David Yellin College. Participants participate in communal service initiatives and oversee projects in the neighborhood as part of their educational curriculum and scholarship requirements. Meanwhile, their effort and success serve as an inspiring example for their families and for others in the community. The group is very important to the women and the community as a whole.
To learn more and get involved, contact the Kiryat Yovel Community Coordinator.