Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Wins Social Involvement Award

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem has received the third Council for Higher Education Shosh Berlinsky-Sheinfeld Award for Social Involvement – an award that comes with a NIS 50,000 gift attached.

The award, which was launched by the CHE in the 5769 (2008-2009) academic year, is awarded to institutions that have made a special contribution to the community.

“It is a tremendous honor for Bezalel and for each department involved in community outreach to be recognized in such a way,” said Bezalel’s President, Prof. Arnon Zuckerman. “We pride ourselves on our many programs and projects designed to help the various communities in Israel, whether religious or secular, Israeli or Arab. Our Bezalel Flowers project is one example; an initiative we believe has far-reaching results for all participants.”

“Bezalel Flowers” is an initiative that began six years ago when the Bezalel Academy opened its doors to youth from various economic environments and from different backgrounds (Jews, Arabs, religious, secular) in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Every Sunday, 110 children (from 10th to 12th grade) come to the Academy and work with Bezalel students who help them nurture their talent and develop new skills.

“The program lasts three years, during which these high-school students are introduced to the abundant offerings of the various departments at the Academy,” said Tamar Arman, head of the Social Involvement department, who also runs the program. “The fact that the participating pupils study in an academic environment constitutes a means for boosting their motivation to higher achievements in the present, and forms a bridge to higher education in the future.”

images from Bezalel Flowers 2012 project by Niva Simon