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Program Spotlight: Kidma-Sadarah

Affirmative Action Program for Local Under-Resourced Arab Students

Kidma-Sadarah is a mechina (preparatory program) designed for outstanding Arab students of a lower socioeconomic standing who have graduated from East Jerusalem high schools. Students learn Hebrew, English, math, social studies, and other skills in order to prepare for entry to Israeli universities. The goal of the program is to provide these students with opportunities for growth and development that otherwise may not have been available to them. The program began in 2015 with 70 students, and has now grown to 140 students in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Kidma-Sadarah, translated as “headway,” is part of a national initiative to make higher education accessible to Israel’s minority groups. High school graduates from East Jerusalem often lack the language and study skills – as well as the independence and confidence – that are so crucial for success at the university level. While Arab students coming from elite private schools have attended the long-standing Preparatory Program (Mechina) designed to serve new olim (immigrants), the Kidma-Sadarah track makes the mechina available to graduates of public high schools.

“The Rothberg International School [RIS] is proud to have launched this initiative,” says Provost Malka Hovav. “It helps further one of our main missions: the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism in a city where the implementation of these ideals is such a challenge.” Run by the RIS at Hebrew University, Kidma-Sadarah is made possible by generous contributions from and in partnership with the Jerusalem Municipality and The Council for Higher Education of Israel. Learn more about our preparatory programs.

Fun Facts about Jerusalem

  • 874,000 residents
  • 2,000+ active archaeological sites
  • 50+ churches, 33 mosques, and 300 synagogues
  • 60+ museums
  • 1,500+ public parks and gardens
  • Some of the olive trees in Jerusalem are more than 800 years old.
  • There are more than 26 wineries in and around Jerusalem.
  • There are more than 50 Christian churches, 33 Muslim mosques, and 300 Jewish synagogues in the city.
  • Jerusalem hosts more than 30 annual festivals for everything from opera to film and from books to wine tasting, the most in all of Israel.
  • Jerusalem hosts Israel’s second-largest Pride parade, which draws more than 25,000 marchers.
  • Jerusalem has over 2,000 archeological sites.
  • There are 90 hotels in Jerusalem hosting over 9,000 hotel rooms.
  • There are over 6,000 species of plants in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
  • Jerusalem has 1,578 public gardens and parks

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Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem” 2022-23
Practical Hebrew Beginners 4 credits
One course on various aspects of Jerusalem The Bible and the City3 credits