TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Azrieli Foundation and the Darca Schools, Israel’s #1 educational network, announced a strategic alliance that will integrate the Azrieli Institute for Educational Empowerment into the Darca School network. This alliance will support the Darca’s School’s ability to provide educational services to thousands of additional youth in the periphery of Israel. The Azrieli Foundation has committed 110 million NIS over a five-year period.
The Azrieli Foundation and the Darca Schools share a common goal of promoting equal opportunity education in Israeli society. The Azrieli Foundation is committed to reducing educational gaps, and as part of this commitment, the Foundation has been operating the Azrieli Institute for Educational Empowerment since 2004. This program was designed to encourage Israeli junior high school youth-at-risk to remain in school and close the educational gaps which were limiting their success. The Azrieli Institute for Educational Empowerment program provides youth-at-risk with the educational support, social development skills, and educational seminars to enhance communication skills between the youth and their parents. The program currently operates in 26 cities and communities throughout Israel’s socio-economic periphery, with 4,000 students being served each year.
The Darca Schools works to advance education in the geo-social periphery of Israel by fostering the educational systems and developing excellent educational leadership. The Darca Schools were founded in 2010 by the Rashi Foundation in partnership with Kiah-Alliance. In 2014 the Youth Renewal Fund (YRF) joined Darca to become the leading strategic philanthropic partner of the network. Since its establishment Darca has been guided by an ambitious social vision that considers educational improvement the key to advancing equal opportunity.
The leadership of the Azrieli Foundation and the Darca Network recognized the shared values and the synergies that will arise from combining their joint efforts for the benefit of Israel’s youth.
The Azrieli Foundation selected the Darca network following an intensive evaluation of the various players in the Israeli education system, and selected Darca for its broad reach in Israel’s socio-economic periphery, innovative approach to education and educational systems management, commitment to high achievement, leadership and values based education, proven success, inspiring leadership, and professional management.
Together, the Azrieli Foundation and the Darca Schools will implement programs through their combined resources, expertise and existing activities to create a stronger, broader and more sustainable impact. Together, they will offer a holistic and effective support system that the students of Israel’s geo-social periphery need and deserve in order to learn and succeed.
Ms. Danna Azrieli, Chair of Azrieli Group and Chair of Azrieli Foundation Israel:
"The Azrieli Foundation has been deeply invested for years in helping the children of the periphery in Israel, especially in preventing junior high school students from dropping out of school and empowering youth with skills to succeed. We are very excited to have the most successful school network in Israel adopt our program, embrace it and expand it. Moreover, it is a pleasure to join the committed funders of YRF, Rashi and Kiah-Alliance who have proven their steadfast lay leadership of the Darca Network. We look forward for this long-term partnership - all for the benefit of the students of Israel"
Mr. Jimmy Pinto, chairman of Darca and Mr. Marc Rowan, chairman of YRF:
"We are happy and proud today to conclude this strategic alliance between the Darca Schools and the Azrieli Foundation. For us, and for the children of Israel’s periphery - whom we all serve and towards whom we all feel a major responsibility, it is another very significant step towards making sure that those children will receive, in a sustainable manner over the long term, the same opportunity to participate in Israel’s success and to receive a first-class, value-based education. In the name of Darca and all its partners of the early hour, we welcome the Azrieli Foundation into Darca and we thank it for its trust. We are convinced that, together, and together with our competent and motivated team, we will help expand Darca’s success, and help Darca become a model network within the Israeli educational system".
Dr. Gil Pereg, CEO of Darca:
“I am honored to continue the development of the Darca network towards new and groundbreaking horizons of excellence. The new partnership unites the most important philanthropic organizations from around the world who are working for the advancement of an exemplary and egalitarian society in the State of Israel. I have no doubt that thanks to their work and the recognition of Darca as the leading educational network in Israel, this event will be a source of inspiration and will prove that every child must have equal opportunities in Israel and around the world”.
About the Darca Network
The Darca Network was founded in 2010 by Rashi Foundation and Kiah-Alliance, with support of the Adelis Foundation, in order to strengthen schools in the geo-social periphery of Israel, and to support their transition to leading and high quality institutions of post-primary school education. In 2014, Darca merged with Youth Renewal Fund (YRF) which joined the philanthropic partners of the network as a leading strategic partner. The Darca network includes schools from diverse communities in the Israeli society and is currently serving 31 schools with more than 16,000 students.
About Azrieli Foundation
Fulfilling the philanthropic legacy of David J. Azrieli z”l, the Azrieli Foundation has been funding institutions as well as operating programs in Israel and Canada for over 25 years. Driven by a strong belief in the powerful role and responsibility of philanthropy, the Azrieli Foundation empowers and assists tens of thousands of people by supporting a broad range of organizations, facilitating innovative outcomes and increasing knowledge and understanding in the search for practical and novel solutions.
The Azrieli Foundation generously funds in the fields of education, healthcare, research and the arts. Focus areas include youth empowerment and school perseverance, higher education, architecture, people with developmental disabilities, holocaust education, environment and music.