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A groundbreaking Bedouin leadership that unites the Negev and strengthens Israeli society.

The Challenge

The Bedouin community is in transition. The community's traditional value system is disintegrating but a modern value system has not yet taken root.

The community lacks opportunities to develop and to overcome substantial socio-economic and educational gaps.

The leadership crisis is extremely severe. It is difficult to identify an agreed-upon leadership within the Bedouin community, let alone a leadership capable of spurring true social change.

 (Adalya Consulting and Management, 2015, page 7)


Of the 240,000 Bedouin in the Negev, most are children under the age of 18. The Bedouin community is growing rapidly; by 2035, they will constitute half of the Negev population.


Bedouin children score lowest on Israeli measures of educational achievement. Today, 30% of 17-year-olds drop out of high school and less than 10% of Bedouin between the ages of 25-54 hold a post-secondary degree.


Negev Bedouin face higher unemployment and lower salaries than any other Israeli community. Only 24% of women and 60% of men are employed.

Socio-Economic Status

The majority of Negev Bedouin live in poverty. Residents of all seven permanent Bedouin towns contend with overcrowding, poor health, crime, violence, and limited access to a quality education and good employment.

Community & Tribal Structure

Entrenched tribal systems dictate community life. Neighborhoods and schools are segregated by tribe. Tribal forces control administrative appointments, the distribution of resources, and children's education.
Relations between tribes range from productive collaborations to violent struggles. As a result, there is no agreed-upon leadership able to heal and advance the entire community.

The Community Today: Socio-Economic Picture
Desert Stars Theory of Change: Leadership is the key to social change

Desert Stars is building a generation of Bedouin leaders to promote a thriving Bedouin community and a strong Israeli society. We empower mission-driven young people to realize their individual and collective potential as change-making leaders.

Base Assumptions

The situation will improve as…

  1. We train more "stars"

  2. More stars ascend to influential leadership positions

  3. More stars work together to solve community needs

  4. More community members support Desert Stars and its values

  5. More Israelis are positively influenced by the unifying leadership of the stars

Necessary conditions for success
  • Recruitment of the right young people with the potential for success

  • Intensive and supportive programming and long-term guidance

  • Bedouin leadership at all levels of Desert Stars

  • A consistent Desert Stars culture that encourages life-long learning

  • The belief, support, and involvement of the Bedouin community

  • Cross-tribal engagement and a cross-tribal network of leaders

  • Holistic training that combines formal and informal education

  • Connection to Israeli society, Israeli institutions, and to the Israeli State

We operate a series of educational programs to train a cross-tribal network of leaders:

The Rawafed Empowerment Center

age 14-18

The Desert

 Stars Leadership High School

age 14-18

Forsan Al Sahra - Youth Movement

12-18 age

Raidat Leadership Program for Women

20+ age

Incubator for Leadership

age 18-19

The Desert Stars Network

20+ age

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At Desert Stars, Arab and Jewish board members and staff work side by side to build a better Israeli society.

הצוות שלנו
Our Team
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