Five years ago, Beit Berl College's Arab Institute for Education and Faculty of Arts - HaMidrasha launched a preparatory program for high school graduates in the Arab community interested in studying arts and art education at the collegiate level. The program sees participants meeting three times a week for the theoretical study of art history, education and Hebrew, as well as practice the art of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography for a total of 18 hours of credit.
The preparatory program has proven a rich and effective preparation for students who otherwise would not have access to arts education. As a result of the preparatory program, there is a steady stream of students prepped to begin art studies at the collegiate level. Today, 70 percent of the program's graduates are accepted to the College's full academic program. Given the program requires an additional year of studies and associated costs, this is no small achievement.
This year marked the graduation of the preparatory program's first class, with 13 Arab students graduating with a Bachelor of Education in Fine Arts - B.Ed.F.A. All 13 students have secured part- or full-time art education positions in a range of communities, from nearby Taybe, Tira and Umm el Fahm, to the mixed cities of Lod and Tel Aviv-Yafo, and even a Jewish school in the nearby moshav, Tsofit.
Today, one in four students of HaMidrasha's B.Ed.F.A. program are Arab students, exceeding the Arab population's portion of the Israeli population - a remarkable achievement among Israeli art schools.
Our deepest gratitude to the Jacob and Malka Goldfarb Charitable Foundation and PEF for their support of this impactful work.