Israel boasts impressive ethnic, religious and social diversity, with lines drawn over several axes, including Jewish-Arab, Orthodox-secular, Mizrahi-Ashkenazi, man-woman-non-binary, just to name a few. Despite this impressive diversity, most local citizens and residents have little to no opportunities for meaningful positive contact with people outside of their identity groups, resulting in disrespect, ill feelings and sometimes even fear. This is especially true for Arabs and Jews, who live almost entirely in separate societies. Mabat combats this challenge by providing citizens with the tools necessary to engage positively in a multicultural society.
Based on leading multicultural education models, Mabat was founded in 2008 to address challenges with diversity at Israeli college campuses. Mabat recognized the college campus as the first and possibly the last common space that diverse populations meet on equal footing. Yet even on campuses where diverse students share the same space, they often remain segregated along ethnic, religious, and cultural lines. Mabat was established to create conscious frameworks to bring together students from diverse backgrounds for transformative encounters over accredited, yearlong leadership seminars at Israeli academic institutions. In the past 10 years, Mabat has implemented 100 accredited courses on 10 campuses, building a network of over 1,700 alumni across Israel. All programs are co-funded by partner institutions of higher education.