Who we are?

Tovanot B'Hinuch (literally translated as Insights in Education) is an innovative and unprecedented social venture based on the premise that it provides the tailwind school principals need to generate an educational – and social – revolution in the educational centers led by these principals. This venture focuses on public schools in Israel's urban and geographic periphery, in deference to the importance of their work.

Tovanot B'Hinuch assists principals in developing a conception of social entrepreneurs and leaders, working to create a total response for the needs of students scholastically, emotionally and socially. In this way, the school turns into the main stronghold in the students' lives and the community surrounding them, making the school a source of inspiration. The venture is operated by setting up action committees and creating partnerships with the Ministry of Education, Local Authorities, industry, security and defense institutions, the third sector, the academic world and numerous volunteers.

Tovanot B'Hinuch was established in 2011 by Karen Tal (recipient of the Bronfman Prize for Education; for many years the principal of the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv), and a core of founders, top executives from the Israeli economic sector.

Vision

Within five years, the venture will include 20 schools in the urban and geographic periphery throughout Israel, which will reach a level of educational and social achievements that will make them a source of inspiration, and a role model for expansion on a national scale.

Goals

• Designing the school as a major stronghold in the students' lives and in the surrounding community, providing a suitable, total response to scholastic, social and emotional needs.

• Creating a partnership for change – educational and social – which makes it possible for: the school principal and his staff to generate a dramatic turnaround in the school; the students to change their launching pad for life; civil society – companies, non-profit associations, individual volunteers – to give and to influence.

• Strengthening Israel's public education system, introducing public discourse supporting educators and the respect of which they are worthy.

Operational principles

• Encouraging perception of the school principal as an educational leader and social entrepreneur, motivated by a worldview of breadth and depth, driven by a vision and capable of achieving optimal results.

• Establishing action committees and volunteer corps, with people from the industrial world, the economic sector, the academic world, the military and the social arenas which give the principal the tailwind for making the vision for the school come true.

• Forming a cohesive package from the knowledge management methods and best-practice tools for management, integrating them into the school.

• Generating partnerships between state authorities and social entities to push the school forward and pool resources in an optimal manner.

• A learning organization – disentangling major insights from each school and their conceptualization, and teaching colleagues by creating a learning community of the participating schools – the school principals and management teams of the action committees and the volunteer corps. All of the parties maintain interrelations facilitating development of a broad view of the educational model.

• A proactive approach and action inspired by passion for creativity.

Background and rationale behind establishing the venture

In Israel, there are 4,000 schools, and hundreds of them are defined as schools-at-risk. As a result, an entire generation could evolve with low potential for occupational and personal development, for integrating socially and for achieving any self-actualization. Tovanot B'Hinuch seeks to change this, using a holistic model which sees the school as an educational, treatment and social center.

A decade ago, an action committee was established for the first time at Shevach Mofet School in Tel Aviv. This idea was extended to additional schools as the action committees and volunteers provided tailwinds for the educational turnabouts that took place in the schools. The model was applied at Shevach Mofet, Bialik-Rogozin and Reshit in Tel Aviv, and at Branco-Weiss School in Bet Shemesh. These schools turned into highly appreciated, leading schools in the Israeli education system.

In September 2011, Tovanot B'Hinuch was established by Karen Tal, who was the principal of the campus of the Bialik-Rogozin School for six years. The school, which was at risk of closure, was awarded the National Education Prize in 2011. During her term as principal, the comprehensive model was developed and applied successfully.

Some of the visitors at the campus sought to find a way to extend the model to other schools. A core group of founders joined Karen Tal in this social-educational challenge. This founding core included leading figures in Israeli society and in the Israeli economy working as volunteers forming the infrastructure supporting school principals in applying the steps towards change.