Manof – A youth village unlike any other – with goals and achievements beyond those of an ordinary high school, is a beacon among other youth villages in Israel. The name “Manof” in itself reveals the unique character of the village, being both an acrostic of “youth center and boarding school” and the Hebrew word for “lever”, a lifting device pictured on the school emblem.
Manof was founded in 1975 during a period of social troubles (the rising of the Panthers movement) upon Prof. Chaim Adler’s initiative, with the financing of “Yad Hanadiv” – the Rothschild Fund and the Youth Division of the Ministry of Education. Manof was a special initiative for the rehabilitation of the youth “on the margins of society”. Manof is a Public Association financed by governmental offices – the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Labour. Manof has been functioning for over thirty five years as an educational establishment for the rehabilitation of young people in Israel. They spend three years living in this special youth village next to Akko, a small northern city, and are part of a process aimed at changing their lives.
Manof accepts young people, 15.5 to 17 years old, who have dropped out of the regular system, despite repeated attempts by their parents and teachers to help them adapt to various educational frameworks. These teenagers have found themselves on the fringe of society with many of the relevant symptoms – delinquency, violence, substance abuse of both drugs and alcohol, frustration and a sense of helplessness, some having contemplated suicide, and most holding the firm belief that there is no way to change. A third of our students are addressed to us by court order and parole officers supervise their progress.
Manof has an educational rehabilitation program specifically aimed at the advancement and nurture of the youth-at-risk who have not found their way in the mainstream of social life. The program is realized within the framework of a boarding school and nurtures these young people back into normative behavior. They have come from backgrounds where they have experienced difficulties integrating, and have had no other educational institution respond to their needs, but still have enough motivation to be rehabilitated while investing great efforts of their own. Manof’s educational program, through its content and variety of experiences, and by its essence, gives the youngsters a sense of value and self-esteem. It brings them to a new understanding of their potential abilities, and lets them understand that they are able to create a change in their lives, and to achieve results that are significant in the outside world in terms of education, family life, learning a trade, citizenship, and being a part of a normative society.
The youth village is an aesthetic, clean environment, with beautifully designed buildings surrounded by greenery and flower gardens, a picturesque aqueduct and other beautiful spots. We have built a village which welcomes everyone upon entering, especially the newcomers, who gain a sense of self-esteem through the respect felt here, by one and all. This is the basis which enables the beginning of a positive and lasting process of re-education and learning.