Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Kafr Qara, 2012-2014

This program was the first program operated by the Mandel Foundation in the North of Israel, and served as the first marker on the road to establishing the Mandel Center for Leadership in the North.


The program had three main goals:

  1. For the individual fellows – to develop their leadership capabilities, for example by deepening and broadening their professional and values-based judgement; to develop their ability to observe social realities in a more complex and critical manner; to improve their ability to formulate a clear vision and translate it into practice; and to nurture their capacity for working with others in a respectful and fruitful way.
  2. For the group – to create a network of local professionals and activists committed to, and working toward, the welfare of Kafr Qara and other localities in the area while collaborating with each other and with other stakeholders.
  3. For the town – to accelerate the development and implementation of vision-based work plans aimed at improving the quality of life in the town and the region.

About two-thirds of the fellows were Kafr Qara residents, with the remaining one-third coming from neighboring localities and villages in the Northern Triangle.

The program comprised a full study day every Thursday; a number of retreats in the Negev, Haifa, Lod-Ramle, and Jaffa; several sessions of outdoor experiential learning; and a course in social photography.


Kafr Qara local council


Council head Nazir Massarwa (chair - first year); newly-elected council head Hassan Atamna (chair - second year); Dr. Mari Totari; Assam Massarwa; Rashid Atamna; Bassem Kna’ana; Mohamed Murah; Latifa Mansur; Senaa Othman; Farid Ranaem; Mufid Sidawi.


The main study units in the first year were: operating in a context of human difference; the study of place; values clarification; vision; and the five-level model for practical action, including the selection of a specific field of action. In the second year, the program was built around four main axes: translating values into practice and vice versa; networking, in particular intra-group networking; discourse about complex social issues; and constructing leadership identity, both as individuals and as a group. Alongside the group study sessions, each of the fellows also worked with an individual tutor throughout the second year. Over the course of the program the fellows developed projects, either individually or in pairs.


The program was accompanied by an external evaluation process conducted by Ghada Abu-Jaber Nijem, which included a broad range of evaluation methods, such as in-depth interviews with fellows, questionnaires, observations, and interviews with stakeholders in the community.


Dr. Rafik Haj, Dr. Danielle Shani (year 1), Shahira Shalaby (year 2)



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