At the beginning of September, all the graduates of the second cohort of the Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Rahat gathered for an event marking their induction into the Mandel community of graduates of local leadership programs in the Negev. The event was held in Lakiya, a short while before the Jewish Rosh Hashanah and the Muslim Eid al-Adha. The 11 fellows completed their two years of study in June when the program culminated with a graduation ceremony and project presentation event. According to Tlal Abu Saed, graduate of the first cohort of the Mandel Rahat Local Leadership Program, being a part of the Mandel graduate community provides support for graduates in their thinking and their practice from the moment the program ends. He expressed his confidence that graduates of cohort 2 would feel this sense of support as well.
The event was attended by faculty members of the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev, and by the Center’s director, Adi Nir Sagi, who wished the program graduates a successful transition to the Mandel graduate community. She emphasized the importance of developing a community that contributes to the building of a Negev society in which all of the region’s populations have a place and live a shared existence.