The Ari Brigade is a program especially designed by the Feuerstein Institute to give a leg up to army recruits who are high school dropouts. Ari participants typically have less than ten years of schooling, difficulty with structured frameworks, suffer from learning disabilities and exhibit severe behavioral problems. Those who do make it into the army often drop out there, too, which can permanently affect their future employment opportunities. The Ari Brigade attempts to help these young adults turn their lives around before it’s too late.
Ari participants undergo dynamic assessment, after which they each personally meet with a Feuerstein professional who shows them their strong points, where their learning potential is greatest. This is itself is a tremendous self-esteem builder. For many, it is the first time they have ever been told that they can succeed at anything. Those who are motivated to continue can then participate in a ten-day intensive course during which Feuerstein-trained mediators work with them on Instrumental Enrichment – the Feuerstein workbooks that develop cognitive skills and learning strategies. The officers who work with Ari recruits are also trained by Feuerstein professionals to reinforce and develop the cognitive skills that their recruits have recently acquired.
The results have been astonishing. Ari Brigade graduates have gone on to fulfill meaningful jobs within the army—jobs that require educational training and perseverance, and often lead to solid professional careers in civilian life. They have, for example, served as computer systems administrators, jet plane technicians, electricians and logistics officers. These are accomplishments that would previously have been unattainable for these recruits. Program Coordinator Anat Cagan says, “We are truly turning people’s lives around here, helping people who’ve been classified by society as failures and dropouts all their lives to find a way forward and succeed. We’ve given them a future.”
For more information on the Ari Brigade, please contact:
Merav Toledo +972-2-569-3313