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.