“If I know where in Israel a child lives, I can predict their chance of success,” says Nathanael Touitou, head of municipal initiatives at the Rashi Foundation, one of Israel’s preeminent private philanthropies that promotes social mobility in the geo-social periphery.
While children in Israel’s periphery have the same potential as those living in the center of the country, Touitou says, their ability to actualize this potential is limited because there are much fewer opportunities within their reach.
One of the critical factors that can influence a child, he explains, is participation in experiential extracurricular activities such as youth organizations and youth movements, sports, entrepreneurship, volunteering, art, nature, and music. It provides children with invaluable skills, along with a sense of identity and belonging, resilience, how to work in a team, and a positive vision for the future. Research has also proved that it improves school outcomes.