First-ever Druze high-tech center in Israel promises a bright future

New education hub will train Druze high school graduates, IDF veterans for careers in Israel’s high-tech industry.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

The opening ceremony for the first-ever high-tech educational center aimed at training Druze youth for careers in the industry takes place in Isifya, near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, on Tuesday.

The DTEC – Druze High Tech center will give Druze high school graduates and recently released soldiers with the job skills needed to join Israel’s high tech industry.

DTEC – Druze High Tech center

DTEC – Druze High Tech center graduate (Courtesy)

Students who began studying in November 2021 at Haifa’s Technion campus have completed the course. Now that the building is complete, new students will study in Isifya.

Among the prominent figures to attend the ceremony are Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash HaCohen; Boaz Golani, Director General of Technion University; Shlomo Gerdman, Chair of the Forum of High Tech CEOs in Israel; and Sheikh Mwafak Tarif, spiritual leader of the Druze community.

Koftan Halabi, a senior Druze community member who founded the educational center in 2009 and is a leader in international anti-BDS initiatives, says the DTEC center will ensure that the Druze community reaps the benefits of Israel’s booming high-tech industry.

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“My dream is to see the youth of the community be released from the IDF, go through the new college and integrate into the Israeli hi-tech industry. I would like to see Brigadier General Ghassan Alian [a Druze IDF general] manage Microsoft, Intel or Apple in Israel,” Halabi said.

“Our vision is to integrate Druze youth in the country. For this purpose, we gather with the senior leaders of the Israeli economy and establish a first and ground-breaking technological institute for the integration of members of the community in the high-tech industry.

DTEC - Druze High Tech center

DTEC – Druze High Tech center (Courtesy)

“I call on all the managers of the leading high-tech companies in Israel to come to us and integrate Druze veterans, who were trained in the high-tech professions, and assist us in training our young people for the high-tech professions,” he stated.

The Druze community in Israel numbers some 145,000 people. They are generally well-integrated in Israeli society, with Druze men subject to mandatory conscription in the IDF and members of the community serving in high-ranking diplomatic, legal, and defense roles.

However, the number of Druze employees in high-tech is quite low relative to their population. Halabi told World Israel News in a 2017 interview that the situation has nothing to do with racism.

“Israel is not a racist country. Rather, our children just fall through the cracks,” he said.

The new center should change all that, giving Druze youth an opportunity for a bright economic future.