Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Afula, 2015-2017

The program aimed to develop local leadership that is deeply committed to the public, professional, social and educational spheres throughout the city of Afula.



The program was comprised of 450 study hours over the course of two years. The 19 program fellows met every Wednesday for a full day of study.

The fellows came from different communities in the city. They all had great professional experience in social, educational and public fields, in Afula and elsewhere. All of the fellows held a bachelor’s or master's degree. They applied for the program in order to further their personal and professional development, with the aim of contributing to the growth and improvement of the city and its institutions.


  • Creating connections and collaborations between different groups of Afula residents by fostering fruitful debate and creating a shared language among the fellows, with the aim of influencing public discourse in the city. Discourse focused on the shared interests of all residents, alongside recognition of the different visions that exist for the future of the city, and for improving the lives of its residents.

  • Improving the fellows’ work methods and their ability to influence their surroundings. The program placed an emphasis on the fellows reviewing and critiquing their own work. They carried out in-depth examinations of their professional work, involving values clarification, vision definition, and theoretical analysis.

  • Increasing awareness about the development of the municipality against the backdrop of intensive construction and development in the city. According to the municipal development plan, more than 100,000 people will reside in Afula by 2025. The goal of the program was to investigate the gamut of existing development options and to examine the development possibilities for the “worthy city.”

  • To clarify the vision behind Afula as the “capital of the Yezreel Valley” through an analysis of the historical and future meanings of this idea.                              



The program was run in partnership with the Afula municipality.



The program was overseen by an advisory committee comprising the following members: Ofrit Weinberg , director of the department of youth and young people strategy at the Afula municipality; Rafi Cohen, director-general of the Afula municipality (committee chair); and Gideon Porat, city council member, holder of the informal education portfolio and chairman of the board of Afula community centers.



In its first year, the main themes of the program were: studying the city and region of Afula; social and philosophical studies; leadership studies; and public policy studies. Each of the program’s fellows was also given unique opportunities to review their own professional and public work, in order to improve and strengthen it. During the second year, the program incorporated an individual tutoring component, collaborative group experiences, and components aimed at reinforcing the fellows’ leadership abilities.

The program deployed a variety of study methods, and included field trips as well as four two-day retreats held outside of Afula.



The program was accompanied by ongoing assessment and evaluation processes conducted by Naama Bar-On, co-director of the Mishtanim Institute.



Ayelet Ilany​ and Dalit Caspin.




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Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Afula >>

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Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Afula >>