The current academic year is a particularly busy one for the Mandel Youth Leadership Program. In addition to the studies of Cohort 4, which recently began with 24 fellows, a special pilot program is being run this year for the 20 graduates of Cohort 3. These graduates, and the organizations they represent, have committed themselves to an additional year’s activity with the goal of implementing the ideas they studied during the program in their professional work. This pilot program was launched due to the realization that more time and investment was required in order to help fellows create effective practical applications for the knowledge and ideas they gained from the program.
The Mandel Youth Leadership Program provides a platform for shared exploration of ideas and practices in informal education, and for discussion of the challenges confronting the field in light of Israel’s evolving social and cultural reality. The program also aims to promote familiarity, discourse, and collaboration among different groups in Israel. Participants in the program are senior leaders in informal education organizations in Israel (youth movements, youth organizations, municipal youth departments, and so on). These leaders shape the worldviews and work methods of their organizations as part of their desire to improve Israeli society.
With both Cohort 4 and the new pilot program underway, and after three years of operation, consideration is now being given to the possibility of extending the Mandel Youth Leadership Program for an additional year, based on a review of the program’s goals and aims and on the feedback received from program graduates, so that it becomes a two-year program rather than a one-year program.