WIZO students will be able to study fire & rescue services (Nahalat Yehuda) and veterinary medicine (Gan Ve’Nof)
This year, two of WIZO’s youth villages will introduce two innovative and unique educational specializations in the fields of fire & rescue services and veterinary medicine - subjects which have yet to be offered at the high school level in Israel. WIZO’s goal in introducing these one-of-a-kind yet completely practical initiatives is to give Israeli youth the chance to begin a successful career path early in life.
Fire & Rescue Studies at WIZO Nahalat Yehuda Youth Village in Rishon Letzion
At the WIZO Nahalat Yehuda Youth Village in Rishon Letzion, high school students will be able to study fire & rescue services as part of the first educational scheme of its kind in Israel - a study course that was founded on the joint initiative of WIZO, Israel’s Office of Homeland Security and the Ministry of Education.
In the words of Pnina Geffen, the director of WIZO Nahalat Yehuda, “We will make a point of recruiting girls into the program as well, in line with WIZO’s vision of promoting gender equality."
The fire & rescue study track comprises three intensive years of theoretical and practical study. Geffen explains that the track offers full high school matriculation at its culmination and includes study at the National Fire & Rescue Academy, located in Rishon Letzion. Among other things, students will learn about fire security and precautions, fire extinguishing, fire forensics, handling dangerous materials, operating mechanical equipment, resuscitation and rescue methods for traffic accidents.
Theoretical learning will be complemented by a very large practical portion: a strict daily schedule that involves organization, shift work, firefighting training sessions and professional tours of fire stations across Israel. Students will don firefighting uniforms and be included in many events of Israel’s firefighting services. Practical training will take place mostly during afternoon hours. An integral part of the educational program will be volunteer work undertaken by the students in service of the community - reflecting one of WIZO’s main priorities. Some of this volunteer work will take place at the local Rishon Letzion fire station. This new initiative comes in the wake of the highly successful police cadet track currently operating at WIZO Nir HaEmek in Afula.
Veterinary Medicine at WIZO Gan VeNof in Petah Tikva
This year, the WIZO Gan VeNof Youth Village began offering an innovative educational specialization for the study of veterinary medicine - the first of its kind in Israel. The program, operating in cooperation with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, will train young men and women in veterinary medicine and culminate in a veterinary nurse license alongside full high school matriculation.
Students will learn scientific subjects like anatomy, chemistry and biology, combined with medical and pharmaceutical subjects: common illnesses, immunology, animal nutrition, etc. Later on, students will partake in practical internships at a veterinary hospital in a variety of departments: surgery, oncology, neurology, and more. In the framework of the program, students will treat a variety of animals, assist doctors in surgery, gain experience in procedures like anaesthesia, X-ray photography, and treat animals during hospitalization.
The Gan VeNof Youth Village is home to a large agricultural farm that includes a dog kennel, stables, zoological garden housing a large array of birds and reptiles, a greenhouse and a lab for the genetic cloning of plant tissues. The farm represents an integral part of the course of study, where students will work, study and do research. “This is a breakthrough in the field of agricultural science in Israel,” says Uri Sa’ar, the Director of WIZO Gan VeNof. “A combination of theoretical high school studies and academic learning. This is an exclusive initiative that will offer its graduates a full matriculation and in addition, a license to work as a veterinary nurse - an in-demand profession in Israel - allowing these students to smoothly transition into the workforce.”
Professor Rivka Lazovsky, chair of the World WIZO Executive, added that WIZO is constantly developing and implementing programs to strengthen and enrich the youth studying in its institutions. “The creation of a framework which includes high school learning and boarding-school life gives the students a chance to both develop personally and expand their professional horizons. Students are exposed to the most sought-after fields of study as well as social ethics and mores, like community service. We at WIZO have no doubt that these programs will allow the students to achieve greatness and produce an increase in the number of Israeli high school aged youth continuing on to the Israel Defense Forces and national security services. I would like to thank all of WIZO’s partners that assist us in empowering our boarding school students, who often come from difficult family backgrounds, and help us to give them a brighter personal and professional future.”