Tsofen High Technology centers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the integration of Israel’s Arab Citizens into the hi-tech industry as a means of promoting economic development, reducing poverty, high value job creation in Arab urban centers and integration of Arab citizens into Israel’s civil society.
Tsofen’s vision is the full integration of Israel’s Arab citizens into Israel’s prosperous hi-tech and start-up sector. Tsofen’s actions have and will result in sustainable economic development that will benefit Israel’s Arab towns and their people and make Israel a more just and equitable society.
Tsofen’s goals are to work with the Arab community and stakeholders from the local, governmental and private sectors to (1) add thousands of Arabs into Israel’s hi tech sector and (2) assist in the creation of hi-tech centers as anchors in Arab towns. In the five years since Tsofen was founded, it has successfully met its goals and proved that Israel’s Arab citizens can be included in the hi-tech sector and that hi-tech companies can and will locate into Arab towns. Its goal for the coming five years is to create and advocate the structural required to scale this integration, touching tens of thousands of people and all of Israel’s regions.
Tsofen advances its goals through work on its ongoing projects:
- Hi-tech in Arab Towns
- Arab Hi-tech careers
- Employment for women
- Government Advocacy
Tsofen’ five years of activity have resulted in the tripling of Israel’s Arab citizens employed in hi-tech (from 400 to 1,200) and a ten-fold jump in the number of engineering jobs in Nazareth (from 30 to 350).
Tsofen was formed in Nazareth in 2008 by Smadar Nehab, a hi-tech technology entrepreneur, Sami Saadi, an independent CPA and Yossi Coten, a hi-tech executive. After examining the pervasive lack of Arab employment in the hi-tech industry at the time, and the near complete exclusion of Arab citizens from Israel’s hi-tech economic engine, the three concluded that bringing hi-tech directly into the Arab community would best enable the integration of Arab citizens into the hi-tech industry, as well as position hi-tech employment as a lever for economic development and prosperity within Arab society.