A Bridge to the Future: The Gap Year as a Path to Mobility a...
A Bridge to the Future: The Gap Year as a Path to Mobility among Arab Youth in Israel
The policy paper titled "A Bridge to the Future: Gap Year Programs for Young Arabs in Israel" was prepared by the Israel Democracy Institute, addressing the significance of gap year programs for Israeli Arab youth and offering comprehensive recommendations for their implementation and development.
This study focuses on Israeli Arab youth during the critical transition from high school to young adulthood. Unlike their Jewish counterparts, most young Arab men do not serve in the military and face limited opportunities for higher education and employment. State-funded gap year programs have been developed to address these challenges, aiming to promote equal opportunities and socioeconomic mobility for Arab youth. These programs are crucial for integrating young Arabs into the Israeli economy and society, offering a positive return to individuals and the economy. However, there is still a significant disparity in fulfilling their potential through education and employment, and efforts are being made to support and expand these programs to bridge the gap.
The IDI recommends adopting a clear policy to establish effective gap year programs for all young Israeli Arabs, increasing resources and funding, and developing a foundation of knowledge and personnel in nonformal education. It emphasizes the need to encourage the participation of young men and to develop various program models to suit different objectives and populations. Residential programs, joint programs for Arabs and Jews, and comprehensive components like identity development, Hebrew proficiency, and volunteer activities are also recommended.