Bedouin in Israel Get a New Center to Help With Job Training

Center near city of Rahat is project of Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute, founded by one of Australia's wealthiest people

Marcy Oster
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Bedouin women wait to cast their vote just outside a polling station during Israel's parliamentary election in the Bedouin town of Rahat in southern Israel September 17, 2019.
Marcy Oster

A center for the training and advancement of employment in the Bedouin community has opened near Rahat.

The Switch Center for Training and Advancement of Employment is a project of the Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute, in partnership with the Idan HaNegev Company and with assistance from JNF Australia.

Triguboff is a billionaire real estate developer and one of Australia’s richest people. He is the founder and managing director of Meriton, Australia’s largest apartment developer and also the country’s biggest residential home builder. The center was opened earlier this month in a ceremony at Idan Hanegev Industrial Park, located on the outskirts of Rahat, the largest Bedouin city in the world. Triguboff, his wife, Rhonda, and his two daughters attended the opening. Australia’s ambassador to Israel, Chris Cannan, also was in attendance.

Israel is home to more than 200,000 Bedouin, most living in the Negev.

“[W]hen there is employment, it is possible to achieve many good things.” Rahat Mayor Faiz Abu Sahiben said in a statement.

The center contains classrooms, a room for computer workshops, a clinic, a multi-purpose hall, work spaces, offices, an auditorium and conference rooms. It will have both Bedouin and Jewish staff members, according to a statement by the institute.