Yahav College: Reaching out to olim one English-language class at a time

All of the courses taught at the college – which was established a year ago in Tel Aviv – are in English.

Tours Azrieli à Tel-Aviv (photo credit: LILACH DANIEL,PIKIWIKI)
Tours Azrieli à Tel-Aviv
Yahav College is unlike any other college in Israel: It is specifically geared toward new immigrants, focusing on courses to improve their quality of life and to reduce the number of those returning to their home countries.
“Forty percent of olim leave after a few years,” Yahav College CEO Yair Amit said. “Part of the problem is because they cannot find proper jobs – and a lot of them get stuck in ‘crappy’ jobs like forex and telemarketing.”
Hoping to corner the market of an untapped resource of people whose first and even second language is English, Amit’s vision is to offer courses that make use of what he calls “professional advantages.”
The immigrants, he said, “are better at using their abilities in English, so we offer courses to get them in the field of high-tech, bio-tech and security.”
All of the courses taught at the college – which was established a year ago in Tel Aviv – are in English. But in order to meet the demand of immigrants from other countries, the college plans to also offer courses in Russian and French.
All of the classes are small, emphasizing a more personalized approach, with no more than 20 students per classroom.
Amit emphasis Yahav College is not just for people who live in Tel Aviv, but for anyone in the country. “We are located in the Azrieli Center, right next to the train station, so we have students coming from all over including Jerusalem and Haifa,” he said.
Another advantage the college offers is that it works directly with the Absorption Ministry.
According to Amit, the ministry offers 80% in vouchers to alleviate tuition costs for new immigrants who have been here up to 10 years.
For those that don’t fall into that category, the college is also endowed with grants provided by anonymous donors that can be awarded to students for up to 50% of the tuition.
Courses cost between NIS 7,000 and 8,000, and are offered once a week for three hours for 18 weeks. The courses include online sales, marketing writing, and social media marketing.
This year they added design, QA, and some basic programming courses to their curriculum.
In the future, the college hopes to expand its efforts to include lone soldiers and the haredim (ultra-Orthodox), however at the moment, they are focusing solely on the capabilities and advantages that the new immigrants can bring into the workforce.