About the Institute
Ruppin Academic Center's Institute for Immigration and Social Integration (Aliyah and Absorption) was founded in 2005. Dvora Blum, Ph.D.,is the Director of the Institute and It is the first institute in Israel whose objective is to promote study and research in the field of immigration.
An academic committee headed by Prof. Moshe Semyonov, Tel Aviv University , guides the Institute's operations. The committee's members include number of senior academics who lead immigration research from within various different disciplines. The Council for Higher Education approved a unique graduate M.A. program in Immigration and Social Integration as submitted by a team from the Center. This program trains skilled professionals in the realm of immigration, absorption and social integration at the highest academic level. Graduates will acquire a multi-disciplinary viewpoint that will allow them to work in a wide range of institutions and organizations that deal with immigration and social integration in Israel and throughout the world.
As part of its international activity, the Institute for Immigration and Social Integration became a member of the International Metropolis Project Organizing Committee in March 2006. Members of this network represent academic and public institutions from around the world. The network promotes international research and provides a platform for researchers, academics and policy makers from Israel and abroad who specialize in immigration and social integration in a multi-cultural society. An international study regarding the integration of immigrants to Israel, the United States, Canada and Germany from the Commonwealth of Independent States is currently being executed at the Institute through the auspices of the network. This study is being financed by the Swiss Foundation for Population, Migration and Environment (PME) and run by Dr. Karin Amit, a researcher with the Institute for Immigration and Social Integration. The Institute for Immigration and Social Integration is also a member of immigration section of the Israel Sociological Society.
The Institute carries out continuous studies among various groups of immigrants within Israeli society and publishes the annual "Ruppin Index" indicating immigrant integration in Israel. As of 2006, the Institute also publishes a yearbook of immigrants in Israel, including statistical information from a wide range of sources regarding the condition of immigrants in Israel. These research efforts are guided by academic and professional organizing committees in order to reliably serve requirements in the field. The Institute maintains on-going ties with relevant government ministries and presents its "Ruppin Index" findings to the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee each year.
The Institute deals in a number of areas:
Teaching - immigration and social integration content is integrated into a variety of study tracks offered by Ruppin Academic Center. A cluster of elective courses in Immigration Studies is open to undergraduate students and the undergraduate Business Administration program includes a specialization in Immigration Studies and Cultural Mediation. A unique graduate program in Immigration and Social Integration Studies, the only one of its kind in Israel, opened in February 2008. In addition, the Institute holds specialized training courses, workshops, conferences and academic level certification courses for professionals in the field.
Mediator Program - an undergraduate Business Administration program with a specialization in Immigration Studies and Cultural Mediation, geared toward members of the Ethiopian community. Students are trained as "inter-cultural mediators" and graduates receive professional certification recognized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Professional training and accreditation instill knowledge, abilities and theoretical and practical tools for dealing with the social integration of immigrants in Israel in those who specialize in inter-cultural management and mediation.
Research - many inter-disciplinary studies are conducted within the framework of the Institute, such as a study of entrepreneurship among immigrants from the former Soviet Union and another regarding immigration from North America, as well as an international research project concerning the economic integration of immigrants from the former Commonwealth of Independent States in a number of countries which is run by the Institute. Once every six weeks a research seminar is held, presenting research that is being done around the country in this field. The Institute operates two on-going research projects: "The Ruppin Index of Immigrant Integration into Israeli Society" and "The Yearbook of Immigrants in Israel".
In keeping with our commitment to migration research and learning, and as a leader in this field in the Israeli academic sphere, the Institute for Immigration and Social Integration at the Ruppin Academic Center has established a web-based network on migration for academic scholars, practitioners, and other migration professionals.
Social Involvement - the Institute encourages and guides many students toward social involvement and initiative. These students work in immigrant organizations and are exposed to a new diverse cultural world. They both contribute and benefit.
| "Go Forth"
Michael Lazar, Mark Louis
Within the framework of the Institute's activities, a sculpture garden was erected throughout the campus grounds, presenting works by immigrant artists. During the course of the year the Institute holds ethnic folklore celebrations (Ethiopian, Georgian and more) and awards the "Notable Immigration Award" as part of its annual conference. The establishment of the Immigration Institute is immortalizes the legacy of Dr. Arthur Ruppin, who founded the World Zionist Organization's "Land of Israel Office" and was among the founding fathers of Jewish immigration and agricultural settlement in the Land of Israel. He was also among the first researchers to study the immigration patterns of the Jews.
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Ruppin Academic Center would like to thank the Yaakov Levinson Foundation for its contribution toward the social coordination of the Inter-cultural Mediation program for Ethiopian students.