Citizens Build a Community was established in November 2004 by local residents and professionals living and working within the city of Lod. Seeking to promote social change and effective solutions to the issues of crime, drug abuse and poverty, Citizens Build a Community has been implementing projects that focus on the various needs of Lod’s diverse and at-risk neighbourhoods. Composed of highly segregated communities of veteran Jewish Israelis, new Jewish immigrants, Arabs, Bedouin Arabs, Ethiopians, Russians and others, Lod’s municipality has been suffering from huge deficits that have led to the abandonment and closing of many social service centres and organisations.
“Juzur – The Center for Arab Academic Volunteers” is one project that has been set up. The centre is aimed at mobilising Lod’s Arab young adults into the academic world, to meaningful positions in the labour market and to leading positive social change in the city. The centre offers academic guidance for high school graduates and young adults, vocational training, counselling and placement, leadership development and community volunteering frameworks. The project is operated at the El-Rashidia school, serving 80 Arab young adults ages 18-30.