Our little house on the prairie, established by Prof. Uriel Reichman in 1994, is a special place with Zionist values at its core. As a former lone soldier who did not receive tender loving care at IDC Herzliya, and as a former lone oleh, Ive been given the privilege of being able to describe some of this universitys dynamic attempts at making a significant impact on Israel and its future.
Creating role models
One of IDC Herzliyas unique initiatives is the Israel at Heart Ethiopian Scholarship program, which was founded by IDCs leadership and long-time friend and supporter Joey Low. The idea of this program is to recruit top graduates from the IDF and national service and bring them to IDC Herzliya to attain their full degrees with the ability to really give their studies their all.
The students are given the gift of full tuition, a monthly living stipend, a free computer at the start of their studies, free unlimited tutoring when needed, extra English help, CV and job placement assistance, and more. The impact of the program is starting to be felt as its 150 graduates take up top positions as lawyers, accountants, civil servants, finance and business people, marketers, psychologists, clinical psychologists, etc. By having these outstanding young people in key positions, they serve as role models to their community and Israeli society, demonstrate their abilities to really succeed in every professional arena and allay any preconceived notions that some people unfortunately carry with them.
IDC Herzliya is humbled to have a small group of staunch supporters who believe in the program and continue to ensure its viability year after year. One example is the Jewish Federation of Broward County, which has been supporting the program since 2007, when Ben Genet returned from a Federation trip in Ethiopia and decided that he, his family and his community needed to make a difference for the future of this community. The foundation has allocated certain scholarship recipients in their first year of study and then continues to support those same students through the duration of their degrees. Members of the Federation have had the opportunity to meet with the students and graduates that they have supported and to build meaningful relationships – and Facebook friendships.
Supporting IDF reservists
Another area which is high on our priority list is the welfare of all IDF reservists on campus – students and staff alike. The university boasts a high percentage of combat soldiers and officers within its student body and the university waves their need for a psychometric exam for acceptance. This may sound out of the ordinary but we believe that in holding such positions in the army, these young people have already proven their leadership and responsibility, and the psychometric testing is simply not necessary.
This is just a small something that we do for those who have given so much for our country. With this attitude, its not surprising that IDC Herzliya was awarded the IDFs Magen Miluim (Shield of the Reserves) Award. The award recognizes employers who offer exemplary support to their employees doing reserve military duty. The shield hangs in the office of Prof. Uriel Reichman, president and founder of IDC.
Largest academic absorption center
The Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS), generously established by the Recanati family, has grown to incorporate 31% of the total student body on campus, with students from over 86 different countries around the world studying in English.
Today IDC Herzliya has the largest percentage of international students studying for full academic degrees of any academic institution in the whole of Israel. The RRIS really has become Israels largest academic absorption center and we focus on sensitively helping each student to acclimate into Israeli society with a tender loving care attitude.
Since 70% of these young people go on to immigrate to Israel, the Aliya and Klita impact for the state of Israel is unparalleled. To date, thousands of new olim have made their homes in Israel through IDC Herzliya and have influenced the country in more ways than can be described.
Studying at IDC Herzliya
Year after year, IDC Herzliya is ranked number one in student satisfaction in nation-wide surveys of 10,000 students at 60 universities and colleges. In addition to the pleasant American-style college atmosphere and all the great social and extra-curricular options available to IDC students, it is surely the superb faculty that is responsible for much of the students enthusiasm.
There are over 1,750 international students studying in English at IDCs Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS), accounting for a quarter of the overall student body. The RRIS students are from 86 countries around the world, with roughly a third coming from North America and a third from Western Europe. Approximately 20% are from the Middle East (mainly Israel) and the rest are from a wide variety of countries in Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. RRIS is very proud of its diverse student body and all of its students invariably mention the opportunity of making friends from so many different cultures as one of the major advantages of studying at IDC.
RRIS is the only institution in Israel that offers a wide variety of excellent full-degree BA programs taught entirely in English: Psychology, Business (with majors in Finance, Marketing or Entrepreneurship), Business and Economics, Communications (majors in Marketing and Political Communications, Visual Content or Interactive Communications), Government (majors in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, Middle East Studies, Counter Terrorism or Business Administration) and the new Computer Science program.
Moreover, the Arison School of Business and the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship offer a selective one-year MBA program taught in English that focuses on the management of fast-growth, innovative companies. There are two different tracks: Business Strategy and Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Jonathan Davis is vice president for External Relations and head of the Raphael Recanati International School, IDC Herzliya
For more information about IDC Herzliya, visit www.rris.idc.ac.il