About Merchavim

Merchavim, the Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel, is an Israeli nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion, and greater fairness in classrooms, communities, and society.

Founded in 1998, Merchavim is a leading organization with a proven track record of delivering on its mandate and continually seeking to grow and strengthen its programs.

Merchavim’s offices are located in Lod, as this city represents the diversity, complexity and the challenges that joint citizenship in Israeli society encompasses.

To date, Merchavim has facilitated diversity training for more than 6000 educators who, in turn, have influenced hundreds of thousands of young people across the country, thousands more have also participated directly in Merchavim programs.

Over its 22 years of activity, Merchavim has created a library of valuable resources, including dozens of articles and research studies and lesson plans on topics from spoken Arabic to diversity in the classroom and many more (click here for the articles and research studies and here for lesson plans – in Hebrew and Arabic)

Merchavim’s programs extend beyond the classroom, and include a program providing diversity training for organizations and a program for leadership in social cohesion.

Mission Statement

Merchavim’s mission is to help Israel’s citizens, of all backgrounds, to learn about the other, value diversity, and create fairer classrooms, schools and communities.


To be a leading Israeli shared citizenship education organization, in order to help all of Israel’s 9 million citizens to live together in a fairer society by providing everyone with equal opportunities, respect and a sense of belonging.

Core Values

  • Fair treatment of employees, suppliers and partners.
  • Respect for diversity among our staff and our target populations, as an expression of our shared citizenship vision.
  • Professionalism and steadily improving quality of programs and services.
  • Partnership with various organizations to promote our vision, on the basis of shared values.
  • Responsibility, trust and transparency in all partnerships.
  • Learning and continual improvement as an organization and as individuals – we aspire to be the best organization in our field.
  • Identification and commitment to our shared citizenship model – along with a continual ambition for its improvement.”


Merchavim was established by the former director, Mike Prashker, in 1998 as an Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) to create a fairer society for all Israeli citizens through shared citizenship education. Today Mike Prashker serves on the Merchavim Executive Board.

Today, in the third decade of its operations, Merchavim’s programs are being taught, supported and evaluated in some 500 schools and kindergartens in the Jewish-secular, Jewish-religious and Arab-Israeli school streams.


“The education system removes stereotypes and works to bring a diverse teaching staff. I have no doubt that Israeli society will be in a better place, educationally, ethically and otherwise, the more we see teachers with disabilities in classrooms – as educators and role models. We at the Ministry of Education provide teachers in the program with individual support, technologies and other tools to help their integration. We intent to continue to increase the number of teachers with disabilities and open our doors to everyone who can educate and advance Israel’s students”

Shmuel Abuav
CEO, Israel Ministry of Education

“For me the program was an opportunity to hear a variety of different voices from Israeli society, and to create a common voice that should be heard.”

Alias Mahari
The municipality of Netanya

You helped us put a spotlight on the dilemmas that need to be addressed, to formulate solutions together, and to learn how to derive benefits from diversity. 

Shlomit Meyers
VP of human resources, Golan Plastic

“The program supported me and helped me to enter the field of teaching in a full-time position. Now it’s my turn to prove myself.”

Ishalm Tasu Ababa