A New Dawn in the Negev

National Network

PO Box 150
Neighborhood 17 Home 112
Rahat 85357

(+972) 052-865-5737
E-Mail (2)
E-Mail (3)
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Democracy and community development
General Information
A New Dawn in the Negev has two co-directors, Jamal Alkirnawi and Shlomit Somech Lehmann, responsible for oversight and operations of the organization as a whole. Our board is composed of six members, both Bedouin and Jewish. Employees include: A Secretary; Director of International Programs; 3 Youth Program employees; 2 music teachers; Sarab Program Coordinator; Director of Educational/Social Tourism; a translator; and over 45 volunteers each year, both international and local, they are an indispensable component of our organization. Our modalities of action include concrete projects and activities, please see main projects/activities for more information. Major funding sources in 2016 included: The Arison Foundation; The Porticus Foundation; The New Israel Fund. Main partners in activities include: Al-Salam School; Be'er Sheva Music Conservatory; Al-Najak School; UK Trusthouse; Merchavim; KIbbutz Kramim.
Mission and Objectives

The founding principles of the organization are peace, multiculturalism, social responsibility, equality, mutual respect, and cooperation. The code of ethics helps those active in the organization to act according to the goals and values that they have established, especially regarding weakened populations such as the Bedouin population in the Negev. The organization's activists are motivated by feelings of responsibility towards this population.

A New Dawn in the Negev is an Arab-Jewish community development organization based in Rahat, Israel. A New Dawn believes that education, employment, and leadership are the key elements helping youth and young adults rise out of poverty to become active, engaged citizens in civil society. As a community-based organization, A New Dawn in the Negev is intrinsically attuned to the challenges and opportunities of Bedouin society from the grassroots level. The Bedouin community of Israel's Negev is a marginalized, indigenous population with low socioeconomic resources, both in relation to Israel's mainstream population and its Arab non-Bedouin counterparts. Rahat is the largest Bedouin community in Israel and its only Bedouin city. With a population of 80,000, 66% of whom are estimated to be under the age of 18 and 80% under age 30, meaningful tools for leadership development and social engagement are of paramount importance to community development.
Our mission is to bring about equal opportunity and high standards in education in Bedouin society in the Negev by planting seeds of creativity, self-development and empowerment. We wish to afford the youth of the community the prerogative of fulfilling themselves in order to assure Bedouin society a responsible and principled leadership.
Our goals are to: 
- Create an equality of standards in the area of formal and informal education
- Break the social isolation of Bedouin youth
- Provide tools and life skills to promote integration into Israeli and international society
- Develop ahealthy sense of identity
- Cultivate Bedouin culture as a resource for growth from a multicultural standpoint
- Imbue both the Bedouin and the Jewish communities with the values of peace, mutual respect and responsibility
Fundamental principles:
Tolerance and peace:  “Don't say the day will come, bring the day” (Yaakov Rotblit, Song for Peace) We believe that peace and tolerance among sectors of Israeli society will not arrive by themselves. Therefore we see its advancement between the Bedouin and Jewish societies in the Negev as a top priority and see ourselves as obligated to endow the values of peace and tolerance amongst us, in order to allow ourselves to see the other.
Mutual respect:  “There shall be no violation of the life, body or dignity of any person as such..All persons are entitled to protection of their life, body and dignity.“ (Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty , 1992) We believe in the actualization of the value of human dignity and are committed  to protecting basic human rights out of the recognition that human beings are born free and equal. At the same time, we act out of sensitivity and respect for the cultural and religious differences of man.
Multiculturalism:  Human beings are naturally varied. Even within one nation, there are a variety of people who come from different cultural backgrounds. When a person is aware of his cultural background and seeks to cultivate it, he has something to offer the society in which he lives. Through this offering, multiculturalism is achieved, thus allowing people to broaden their horizons.
Cooperation and coordination: We see cooperation, coordination and pooling of resources between organizations as a necessary condition for efficient action and a basis for maximizing abilities under conditions of lack of resources. We are committed to cooperation with other organizations operating within the sphere of our work.
Social responsibility: We operate out of social responsibility and a commitment to the needs of the Bedouin population while advancing values of mutual responsibility, giving, intervention and social solidarity. Therefore, we are committed to identifying the crucial, authentic societal needs required for the advancement of Bedouin society, and to develop services and provide a response that is suited both to its needs and to the abilities and the goals of the organization.
Integrity: We are committed to integrity, good governance , reliable reporting, transparency and avoidance of conflict of interest. We operate with truth and integrity and make the information on our administration, activities and use of donor funds accessible to the general public,with full transparency. We act clearly according to the regulations and goals of the organization, as defined by law, with no intent to profit.
Professionalism and efficiency: We are committed to administer our various activities with professionalism, with openness to inspection and critique and with the hope for constant efficiency. We do this in order to maximize our resources for the mission of the organization within the Bedouin population. Therefore, we act out of professional considerations only and are committed to use the resources of the organization in a professional and effective manner. We continually review our methods of conducting our activities in order to streamline them and operate in an optimal manner.
Equality: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. ..Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN, 1948)
We are committed to implement the spirit of these words for the population with which we work in an equal manner without regard to religion, race, gender, nationality, sexual or gender orientation and according to the standards that we have set, with an awareness and respect of cultural differences.

Main Projects / Activities

Since 2009, A New Dawn in the Negev's programs have included:
• After School English Program: Volunteers from around the world join the Bedouin High School students of Alnajak High School once a week in the new English center to bring fun and educational enrichment programs to the at risk population. This program is of huge benefit to the participants: it is not only a means to achieving better test results in English, but also serves as a holistic approach to cultural exchange and reflection.
• Bedouin Digital Culture Center: A digital initiative funded by the UK Trusthouse Foundation. The goal of this project is to explore the transition of Bedouin society from a traditional semi-nomadic way of life into the 21st century. This project is also designed to be a practical project through which students can learn documentary skills and video editing with the hope of integrating this program as a component to the After-School English Enrichment Program.
• Sarab: Strings of Change: Sarab (“Oasis” in Arabic) strives to change the bleak social reality of the Bedouins of the Negev by providing quality music education, starting with children in elementary schools. Omer Meir Welber, a regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, and at La Fenice Venice, and who serves as the Music Director of the Raanana Symphony Orchestra, is the heart of the program and provides it with its vision.
• Shared Society Project: In partnership with Merchavim, in 2015 A New Dawn and Kibbutz Kramim launched a joint forum to promote coexistence. This forum comprises of municipality officials and community leaders from the Kibbutz and Rahat. The forum members are committed and passionate about developing a better future for both Jews and Bedouins in the Negev region.  The forum’s goal in 2016 is to launch joint projects and programs. The forum currently has 40 participants, with an equal number of Jewish and Bedouin members.
• German Youth Exchange Program: Aims to understand discrimination in the context of the past and the present, and empowers students to serve as advocates against discrimination. Students from Germany come to Rahat, and students from Rahat travel to Germany: living together, traveling together, and getting to know one another on a deeper level while exploring the other's culture and historical context.
• Youth at Risk Employment Training Program: One of our most successful programs to date, this project directs youth 15-18 years of age towards empowering opportunities for growth, through long-term employment training. Training is provided in computer literacy, business computing, smartphone repair, as well as in entry level training for medical careers. Essential soft skills are also emphasized, such as professional level Hebrew, presentation skills, and public speaking to improve their confidence and sense of professionalism. 50-70% of program graduates are enrolled in further education, and are on a path to successfully integrating into Israeli society. Over 200 youths have participated in this program over the past three years.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

As an organization deeply committed to the same values, which include the promotion of inter-cultural dialogue, we hope to contribute to the network by finding new connections and new partners, for mutually beneficial dialogue and actions. We have a large network of friends and associates with whom we would also be glad to bring to the table.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

One of our founding principles includes " We see cooperation, coordination and pooling of resources between organizations as a necessary condition for efficient action and a basis for maximizing abilities under conditions of lack of resources. We are committed to cooperation with other organizations operating within the sphere of our work."
We firmly believe in the power of networking. Without our network, we would be much more limited in the scope of our activities. We currently collaborate and maintain ongoing relationships with several partners (including the Municipality of Rahat, the Ministry of Education, Europeans for Peace, and many others). We believe that there is no such thing as a network that is too big, and only positive oucomes can come from exploring different collaborations. We would be honored to become a part of a network that shares such similar values and ideals.

Contact (1) Full Name
Jamal Alkirnawi
Job Title
Founder and Co-Director
Head of the organisation
Jamal Alkirnawi
Contact (2) Full Name
Shlomit Somech Lehmann
Job Title (2)