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January 01, 1988 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-01

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American Friends of AMAL


1988 is the year when the Histadrut Labor Federation's Amal educational network will celebrate its 60th anniversary. And what
an auspicious anniversary it is! Amal can certainly take pride in its phenomenal growth and the role it plays in the education of Israel's youth.
The network provides a broad variety of educational services in both urban and rural areas. Utmost importance is placed on ensur-
ing equality of opportunity and preference is given to the underprivileged, with 80% of them now able to continue their education.
In the Amal network with its 143 schools, 40,000 students are taught by a dedicated staff of more than 2,500 teachers. Recent
budget cuts by the government have forced Amal to appeal to friends throughout the world to help support technological education
for Israel's youth.

The Amal network was the first educational system to immediately integrate young Ethiopian immigrants who arrived in Israel
uneducated and unskilled. Now through the efforts of the entire Amal team, they have reached levels of achievement comparable
to their Israeli counterparts.

There are 4 main categories of Amal schools - comprehensive and vocational high schools where apart
from general academic subjects, students learn useful trades such as computers, electronics, mechanics,
carpentry, metal working and sewing, industrial schools with work-study programs, settlement schools and
vocational training centers for adults.


Amal has both a social and technological role. It strives to instill in its students the traditional values
of Zionism and labor, encouraging them to take an active part in community life. It also teaches them
technological advancements that will benefit the state of Israel. In the last few years, under the capable
management of Uri Agami, Chairman of Amal and the Histadrut's Educational Committee, Amal has ex-
panded rapidly. This expansion involves not only the construction of new schools, but also the creation
of new prototypes of educational facilities, geared to meet the needs of changing society.

In cooperation with the Jewish Agency, Agami has overseen the establishment of 30 personnel training
centers in deprived neighborhoods. Opened as part of nationwide urban renewal - projects, these centers
provide job training and employment guidance services.

Another recent step has been Agami's decision to build a network of Amal community centers on school premises to_provide sports, cultural and
other facilities. These activities are designed to instill a sense of community responsibility as well as enjoyment for leisure hours. Since 1983, Amal has
succeeded in almost tripling the number of Israeli Arabs who receive a technical education.


In order to coordinate fund raising efforts between Amal supporters in Israel and abroad, it was de-
cided to create an Israeli support group on behalf of Amal, headed by MK Abba Eban.
At the inaugural meeting of the group, attended by numerous government officials and managing
directors of private and Histadrut-owned companies, Amal chairman Uri Agami noted that Eban's
background as politician and scholar made him eminently suitable to lead this group as the organization's
aims are both social and educational.
In response to Agami's opening remarks, Eban reflected that "Arnol succeeded in promoting
technological education during the first two decades of the State's existence when priority was given to
education in the humanities with science and technology being very much in second place." Eban also
made note of Agami's success in boosting the network's activities during his four years of chairmanship.


Israel's unique security situation and its need to maintain what is undoubtedly the world's most profes-
sional air force have led to the creation of a vast infrastructure of aircraft maintenance facilities. This was
a result of dire necessity and it provided the impetus to indigenous aircraft construction projects by the
Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), the country's largest employer.
The military and civilian workforce engaged in aircraft maintenance and production (25,000 in 1AI
alone) needs to be constantly replenished with the highest quality technicians and engineers. Providing
a cadre of several hundred graduates a year to fill the ranks of the IA1 and the air force, as well as El
Al and the country's private aviation technologies are three Amal schools: the Holz Vocational High School
in Holon, the Belt Shemesh Industrial School and the Ramat David Industrial School near Afula.
At these three schools, the curriculum devotes part of its time to general education and the remainder
is dedicated to aircraft mechanics and control systems, assembly and repair of jet engines and electrical
maintenance courses.


Rahat, located 25 kilometers from Beersheva, is one of Israel's fastest growing settlements. Since its establishment in 1972, in line with the govern-
ment policy of helping the country's Bedouin tribes change from a nomadic to an urban society, the village of Rahat has grown to a town with a popula-
tion of over 18,000. As the local population underwent this social transformation, they had need of a school which would integrate their youth into the
industrial age.
To answer this need, and at the initiative of the director of the Beersheva branch of the Ministry of Labor, the Rahat Vocational School was opened
in 1982. Supported since its inception by the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in the U.S., the Amal Rahat Vocational School has 250
students, 50 of them girls, in the 15-18 year age group. Housed in three modern buildings on a 20 dunam site, the school typifies the revolution that
has been transforming Bedouin society since the foundation of the state of Israel. Only a stone's throw away are the black tents and flocks of sheep
and goats that are essential features of the Bedouin lifestyle.


In honor of Amass 60th anniversary and Israel's 40th Independence Day, the Michigan chapter of the American Friends of Amal is sponsoring
an exciting trip to Israel, timed to coincide with these two momentous occasions.
Activities include participation in the festivities surrounding Independence Day, travelling and sightseeing throughout Israel, 13 nights stay in deluxe
accommodations, full Israeli breakfast daily and four dinners. The Amal International Convention activities include:
— an exclusive cocktail party with the participation of President Chaim Herzog, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and MK Abba Eban
— a festive luncheon
— special sound and light show
— tree planting ceremony
The price of this package is $1949 out of New York. For further information regarding this trip of a lifetime, please call Goldie Eskin, American
Friends of Amal at 967-4720.




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