jerusalem mayor

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has inaugurated the “Center for Excellence You-niversity” in Beit Hanina, an Arab neighborhood in the eastern part of the city. The Center was established in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality and the World ORT Kadima Mada (Science Journey).

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat with Arab teachers at new school in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. (Photo: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Tuesday, February 18, at the Beit Hanina Municipal School for Girls. Moshe Kinley Turpaz, director of education for the Jerusalem Municipality, and Avi Ganon, CEO of World ORT Kadima Mada, attended the event, which also included a chemistry presentation and the traditional Dabke Arab folk dance.

The new center will focus on providing numerous science and technology-enrichment courses to female middle-school students from eastern neighborhoods of the city. The subjects to be taught include physics, medicine, robotics, engineering and astronomy, among others.

Moti Dotan, head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council and member of the World ORT Board of Trustees, said:

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Jerusalem Mayor (center) at science demonstration.

“We are pleased to open the Center of Excellence You-niversity and to make studies in science, medicine and high technology more accessible to students in east Jerusalem. We will continue to encourage the study of science among children and youth in order to enrich the world, increasing the percentage of male and female students of Science and Technology and opening the gate to higher studies in whichever field they choose.”

Although the center has not yet officially opened, more than 300 girls have already registered for courses.

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (center) launches academic center for girls in east Jerusalem.

The center for science will be housed in the newly built Beit Hanina Municipal School for Girls. The new school has 24 classrooms, laboratories, computer rooms and sports fields and will instruct up to 1,000 students.

“We will continue to vigorously reduce disparities in eastern Jerusalem,” the Jerusalem mayor stated. “We are investing heavily in eastern Jerusalem; we are building new classrooms, kindergartens, and developing infrastructure. Education is an excellent tool for bringing people closer together and we will continue to invest in the education system. Education will enable students to have the tools necessary for a successful future.”

Date: Feb. 19, 2014