Kav Mashve helps Israeli-Arab university graduates enter the business world

Kav Mashve is a Hebrew play on words – it means “the equality line” and can refer to the “equator” but can just as well mean creating a more equal society.

 AL MADA STUDENTS attend a leadership workshop. (photo credit: ALFRED HADAD)
AL MADA STUDENTS attend a leadership workshop.
(photo credit: ALFRED HADAD)

Peter Parker’s aunt May, in Marvel’s Spider-Man series, says it best: “When you help someone, you help everyone.”

There have been many programs started by both the government and the non-profit sector to help various under-served population groups including getting more haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews into the workforce or increasing services to rural communities and those in the periphery.

Sami Assad, CEO of the non-profit Kav Mashve, says he believes that recognizing outstanding Arab Israeli talent and then working with them to develop their full potential will have “an influence on the entire society and economy of the State of Israel.”

Israel’s substantial Arab minority does receive some of the much-needed attention. And while many of these programs focus on the lack of services to the Arab society, Kav Mashve is focusing on the Arab academic population – those Israeli Arabs who are heading to university or completing degrees – and assists them in finding appropriate positions in the workforce. All too often, they finish a first or second degree, including MBAs, and have to work in jobs below their education and training level or even doing menial labor.

Kav Mashve is a Hebrew play on words – it means “the equality line” and can refer to the “equator” but can just as well mean creating a more equal society. 

Arab Israelis have succeeded in many fields, for example, in the Knesset, the judiciary, pop music culture, the media and sports. But they are starkly underrepresented in management positions in Israeli businesses. Though they represent approximately 17% of all college graduates in Israel (close to their 20% representation in the general population), there are less than 1% in senior managerial positions.

A new senior leadership development program has been started by Kav Mashve, in partnership with the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation and Cambridge University, in order to aid in the development of business leaders among Arab university graduates.

“The experience is multi-dimensional. It empowers and encourages them to grow, and take on a variety of challenges as part of their managerial work,” explains Maram Jubran Mireb, Deputy CEO, Kav Mashve.

The program, Al Mada, has three main pillars:

  • MBA studies in the faculty of management at Tel Aviv University
  • Leadership development in partnership with the Institute for Quality Leadership
  • Global networking including a 10-day program at the UK’s Cambridge University’s school of business, focusing on global economic and social challenges.

AL MADA (from the Arabic which, loosely translated, means “everything your eye can see” – or as Mufasa told Simba in The Lion King, “everything the light touches”) is open only to Israeli Arab university graduates who have worked for at least five years in the Israeli business sector, and are recommended by their managers for future promotion. 

“I started the Al Mada program because it has many of the qualities I was looking for to help me develop my leadership and managerial capabilities.” says Nadeen Jaraisy, Head of Delivery and Innovation at Procter & Gamble Israel. 

The program provides significant leadership and development experiences for the participants. Partnering with the Edmond De Rothschild Foundation has proven to be highly valuable due to their commitment to reducing the gaps in Israeli society. 

“We, together with Kav Mashve, have initiated the most exclusive leadership program in Israeli Arab society – Al Mada,” lauds Mwassi Ahmad, the foundation’s program officer for Arab society. “This program is a golden opportunity for young people to discover their own potential, and help promote them to senior managerial positions in the business sector.”

Kav Mashve offers Israeli Arab students free career guidance, industry specific campus business clubs, executive leadership development, and hi-tech skill camps in cooperation with companies like Microsoft, Amdocs, BMC etc. For more information: [email protected] 

The writer is a Philanthropic Consultant helping people and foundations give away their tzedakah money wisely, and effectively for over 25 years. In addition, he consults to hi-tech start-ups. He can be reached at: [email protected]