The Peter Baris Building, the latest architectural addition to our campus, is the new home of Sapir’s School of Social Work. This burgeoning faculty, which includes BSW and MSW tracks, an international social work program, professional retraining, and the Negev Rights Based Community Practice Center, is a leader in Israel’s social work profession today. Now, thanks to the generosity of the Livnat family, it has a state-of-the-art building to foster its continued growth. The facility was inaugurated in the presence of the Livnat family; Sapi,’s board chair, Adv. Gilead Sher; College President Prof. Nir Kedar; former President Omri Yadlin; Dean of Students Alon Gayer; Dr. Leah Schlaff, incoming Dean of the School of Social Work; and her predecessor, Prof. Orit Nuttman Shwartz. Kedar lauded the generosity of Doron and Marianne Livnat as a model of social commitment that will promote academic excellence innovation at Sapir in the years ahead. It reflects, he said, the very spirit of the College, combining theory, practice, and service to the community.
It was a crowning moment when 89 outstanding students at Sapir College received merit scholarships for academic excellence, 79 of them with great distinction and ten with the highest distinction. The fact that many of them hail from underserved communities in Israel’s social and geographic periphery only made it sweeter and more poignant. Liat Aleemo, a student at Sapir’s Cultural Studies program, explained how academic achievement is intimately connected to her own personal growth. “The opportunity to study theory at Sapir helped me frame my own experience in a broader social context.
It was the first event of its kind. Twenty seven students from the Sapir Academic College Innovation Lab met with representatives of JDC-Israel to pioneer a new approach to social service and advocacy. They’re all part of course at Sapir’s Communications Department, organized in conjunction with JDC, on the interface between digital communities and the third sector. Under the direction of Dr. Omer Keinan, students follow and analyze relevant social media content and then build effective digital communities to help JDC improve its social intervention programs.