Neve Nof WIZO Day Care Center – Lod

Neve Nof WIZO Day Care Center in Lod is characterized by its multicultural population. There are children who are Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, Jews, religious Jews, religious Arabs, Ethiopians, Russians, and from intermarriages (Jews and Arabs). It is currently the only day care in the country where there are both religious Jews and religious Muslims.

The population at the day care center have a low to moderate socioeconomic standing, some of the children come from families that receive welfare support and the rest are from low-income families.  And lately, many religious Jewish families with young children have been moving to the neighborhood, living not far from the Arab neighborhood. When the staff knows certain families experience difficulties, they usually go far beyond what’s asked of them and try their best to help. Some families fall through the cracks due to language difficulties and a lack of tools to cope with the establishment, so occasionally they even help them with all formal and informal bureaucratic paperwork to make sure they get their rights in full.

In order to meet the need of their multicultural day care, the staff have been part of a program by Beit Berl College that teaches about multicultural populations. The purpose of the program is to open hearts and enrich the staff with knowledge regarding the Arab community, to create acceptance and inclusion based on understanding one another and not prejudice.

At the day care they take part in several programs, such as the “Light” Program, “Or”, that works on behalf of the National Program for Children at Risk. As part of the program, a mentor works individually with children that experience different types of problems. They are also a part of the FKT project, that provides a 100nis scholarship to children of the Ethiopian community. There’s a toothbrush project, that provides toothbrushes to all the children at the center, and they brush their teeth together every day in groups after breakfast. In addition, they have a show at the day care once every two months, they have movement classes, nature classes, and a development support class for infants. During the year, meetings, workshops and parties are held for both parents and children.