The Perach Tutorial Project
PERACH, an acronym in Hebrew for "tutoring project", also means a "flower". PERACH pairs up needy children from underprivileged backgrounds with university students who act as their tutors, giving the child personal attention (often sorely lacking) and serving as a role model.
The care that PERACH children receive from their mentors, helps them realize their potential and blossom into motivated individuals.
Perach was born in 1974, as a result of the initiative of Dr. Rony Attar, then a Ph.D. student at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and with the active support of Professor Haim Harari from that Institute. Rony Attar had then devoted six years, as a volunteer, to the creation of the project, spreading it all over Israel and determining its basic features, from modest headquarters at the Weizmann Institute. He was followed, for the next thirty years, by the first national director of Perach, Amos Carmeli, who expanded the project and stablished its roots in every corner of the Israeli higher education system. Today Perach involves approximately 12% of the students in Israel and many tens of thousands of needy children. Haim Harari continues to be an active partner for the last forty years, as the national Perach council chair
A significant percentage of PERACH's mentors and mentees come from minority groups
Being the largest organization of its kind in the world, PERACH has become a source of inspiration and practical support to PERACH-like organizations, now operating in about 20 countries worldwide.
- To enrich and improve the lives of children from underprivileged backgrounds from all sectors of society - Jewish, Arab and Druze - through a warm and caring relationship with a personal mentor.
- To help university students meet the cost of higher education, by providing partial scholarships and/or academic credits in return for their work with needy children.
- To allow university students (the country's future leaders in every field) to experience first-hand, some of the country's most pressing social problems, thus helping to narrow the gaps in Israeli society.
- To promote tolerance and understanding among different sectors of society (including Jews and Arabs), through joint activities.
Children from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, often suffering from educational, emotional and behavioral difficulties (Approximately 20% of PERACH children are new immigrants, with equal numbers coming from the Arab sector).
We also provide mentors to children with disabilities, children whose fathers are in jail, disadvantaged high school students who need help to prepare for their matriculation exams, dyslexic or blind university students
We believe that personal development, social inclusion and academic achievements are all attainable for these children.
PERACH has a pyramid-like structure, with a small head office located at the Weizmann Institute of Science and a few regional branches at universities around the country.
Each of PERACH's regional branches is headed by a manager, who is in charge of 50-70 coordinators. The coordinators, all of whom are students and former mentors themselves, are each responsible for 50 mentors. The coordinator pairs up each mentor with a mentee, after interviewing them separately and obtaining background information on the mentee. PERACH's staff, receives professional guidance and support all year long.
Mentors meet with their mentees for two hours, twice a week.
Encounters take place at the pupil's home (to acquaint the mentor with the child's home and family life), at the university campus, at playgrounds, libraries, museums or at PERACH's enrichment centers (see below).
The activity is supervised and monitored by PERACH coordinators but leaves the pair a lot of leeway to decide what to do - prepare homework, play computer games or soccer, go to the movies, go on nature hikes etc.
To Whom It May Concern – a word from Perach International
My name is Amos Carmeli, currently serving as the president of Perach International, the mentoring international body of the Davidson Institute at the Weizmann Institute of Science where Perach, the Israeli tutoring and mentoring project was inaugurated more than 40 years ago
During over 37 years of service at Perach and experience in running and starting mentoring projects in Israel and around the world, Perach has become a role model for many other projects. I am a zealous believer in it and have devoted all of my time and energy to pursue the mentoring and tutoring ideas embodied in this project and assisting in the creation of Perach-like projects in numerous countries
Perach and its like mobilize the best people a country can 'produce'- its university students, who become familiar with the real people and problems of the poor and needy. These students work for the sake and benefit of the communities – mainly their disadvantaged children, whom without a guiding hand and support may not realize their true potential (which is such a terrible personal and national loss!)
Perach works with children from K to 12+ who come from poor families and disadvantaged areas (among them minorities, new immigrants, single-parent families, children of prisoners, children with disabilities etc.) on a one-to-one basis or in group activities, focusing on various topics from Health, Science and the Environment to Law, the Arts and others. Perach is also creating Enrichment, Communication and Science Centers around the country
During the years I have been involved in many similar projects (which operate today in hundreds of universities in 25 countries) and I have discovered that a Perach-like project is much needed in every country and can flourish everywhere
Therefore, I would be honored to work with any government, university or organization with the hope to be of help in bringing the ideas and ways of operation of the project to any interested party. Thus, giving a big helping hand by pouring many thousands of the nation's best (and future leaders) people into the educational system, for the benefit of all – the children, the students, the schools and universities, the community, and the nation at large
I look forward to hear from you and a fruitful cooperation