Hodayot is located in northern Israel, about 20 minutes outside of Tiveria. World ORT Kadima Mada owns and operates the school, which currently has 230 students enrolled. Each student is treated an individual, and educational services are tailored according to students’ needs. The student body shares two main characteristics: They were referred here as a result of not being able to function within the traditional educational system in Israel, and almost all of the students come from families that face a vast number of challenges, including single parent households, families where the parents are no longer living or no longer involved in their child’s life, and families who are not able to support their children financially.

Students come to Hodayot while dealing with significant educational gaps, emotional gaps, and many of them arrive unable to read or write. Some students have extensive life experience, but they have not received a formal education. They have dropped out of school before coming here, or some of them never attended school at all. Others have bounced around from school to school.

Hodayot has a strong reputation for providing students with the boost they need. For many of our students, this is the first time in their lives that they have experienced a normative, healthy school environment. In order to create the change that these students need, World ORT Kadima Mada recognizes that every child needs a substantial adult in their lives. Every child needs an adult that believes in them—and that is exactly what we do. The number of children in the classroom is proportionately much smaller than the national average in Israel. Our class sizes range from nine students to 15 per class. Class size is capped in order to provide critical individualized attention and personalized lesson plans for our students.

Hodayot is a microcosm of Israeli society. Its diverse student body includes olim (new immigrants) arriving from the former Soviet Union, and students of all religions. At Hodayot, every religion is respected and holidays from all cultures are celebrated. Throughout it all, we work to preserve an Israeli identity.

Click here to read impact stories from Hodayot students and teachers.