About the Tzurim Association
The Tzurim Association, founded by industrialist Stef Wertheimer, has set a goal to promote professional & technological education and vocational training in Israel, along with additional goals, such as developing the Galilee and encouraging entrepreneurship. Tzurim initiates and promotes processes in these fields by running its own projects and by creating professional and funding partnerships with government offices and other organizations with similar objectives.
The Tzurim Association focuses on youth education. The Association works together with the Ministry of Education on different projects and strives to reach as wide a range of age groups as possible.
- Programs for elementary schools- Technology development programs for talented students, in collaboration with the “Israeli Society for Excellence through Education”.
- Educational programs for Junior High Schools- technological escape rooms: Exposing students to technological studies, in collaboration with the “Moona” Association.
- Educational programs for high schools- systems engineering: a Project-orient program for talented students learning in the track of machinery, – and the Jam-tech program, combining three different technological tracks in interdisciplinary studies. ( link to the page about the program in this webbsite).
- An international contest for professionals- WSI-World Skills International. The biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world, hosted by different country every two years. The competitors demonstrate technical skills individually and collectively, executing specific tasks.
The Tzurim Association believes in collaboration in its programs. In the past, the Association operated as a network of educational institutions, running several high schools, including Zur Lavon in the Galilee and Zur Barak near Kiryat Malachi. As part of a strategic process of change these institutions were gradually transferred to other owners. Currently the Tzurim Association continues to run two pioneer pilot projects in the field of technological education:
- The Zur Yam School in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Welfare and the Israeli Navy in Haifa.
- Zur Shalem- a multi-year industrial program and pre-army preparatory program in Lavon, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the IDF Manpower Directorate.
- ‘A second chance for a profession’, in collaboration with the IDF, the Ministry of Education, the Ta’asiyeda Association and a partner from the industrial world.
- ‘Practical engineers becoming teachers’, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the IDF Manpower Directorate.
Research and evaluation
The Tzurim Association evaluates and measures its projects, in collaboration with the Evaluation and Measuring unit of the Association for Democratic Education. The association orders researches and writes position and policy papers on its website ‘links to skills (in hebrew)‘.
Policy and Legislation:
The Tzurim Association promotes technological education and vocational training by bringing these issues to the public agenda, through the following activities:
- Initiating the vocational training law to be voted on, in collaboration with the Chairman of the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, Member of Knesset Eli Alaluf (link to proposed law (in hebrew)).
- Initiating a joint Israeli-German committee led by the Ministry of Labor, and Social Affairs to establish a round table discussion. The committee was established in order to form a comprehensive policy to include all interested parties and to create an institutional framework formalizing the process of developing the professional human capital (link to the report).
- Participating and consulting the accreditation committee led by the Prime Minister’s Office (link to texts (in hebrew)).
- Writing a policy paper on higher technological and vocational education, in cooperation with The Aharon Institute (link (in hebrew)).
- Taking part in the technological colleges’ forum discussions.
- Participating in the Manufacturers Association Education Committee.
- Organizing a seminar in the Knesset on vocational training, to promote the public discussion and to create a foundation for partnerships with interested parties (link to written and video material (in hebrew)).
Developing a Curriculum
- Writing technological pedagogy programs, focusing on project based studies (link to the curriculum of systems engineering).
- Leading a committee for writing curriculum in the field of CAD for students in grades 9-14 in the education system.
- Leading a committee for writing a dual practical curriculum in the field of machinery for the practical engineering program of the Technological Training Institute.
Knowledge development in the fields of vocational education and training policies
- Creating a platform for discourse amongst professionals and decision makers by conducting research studying processes and developments in the field of professional education in Israel and the world.
- Influencing the public discussion, using social networks.
- Creating partnerships with foundations, the Manufacturers Association and research institutes to promote and develop policies and professional discourse in the field.