President Shimon Peres will be one of the keynote speakers at the dedication
ceremony for the Nazareth Industrial Park on Tuesday.
For several years
now, Peres has been a staunch and consistent advocate for the integration of
haredim and Arabs into Israel’s hitech industries. Early in his presidency, he
brought a busload of leading Israeli industrialists, entrepreneurs and investors
to Nazareth, which is home to Israel’s largest Arab community, with the aim of
promoting joint ventures with existing Arab-owned companies and providing seed
money for start-ups in the Arab sector.
Less than a year later, in
February 2011, together with the heads of about 20 mostly multi-national
companies, Peres inaugurated Maantech, a voluntary coalition of hi-tech
companies that are interested in recruiting and training hi-tech professionals
from the Arab sector and whose members have also gone into high schools to award
training scholarships to students with hi-tech potential.
some of the business executives who were on that bus ride with Peres have formed
important business relationships with Arab companies.
But the person with
the most far-reaching vision is Israeli business magnate Stef Wertheimer. After
scoring impressive successes with six industrial parks, Wertheimer decided to
build a seventh in Nazareth.
The park provides opportunities – in both
theory and practice – in that it offers technical education to young people who
have demonstrated an aptitude for hi-tech. It will provide jobs in local hi-tech
enterprises for those who are already qualified and in some cases, people will
be able to learn on the job.
Other speakers at the event will be outgoing
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jeraisy and
The first major company to take up residence in the
industrial park is Amdocs, a global leader in unified communications and network
services and solutions.