The Maya Center – A national center for parenthood and family in intercultural transition


Director of the center: Dr. Michael Kipnis

The Maya center operates side by side with the parenthood and family center and in cooperation with it.

  • The Maya center was established on the initiative of the department of parents, family and community in the parental education section of the Ministry of Education and the Kibbutzim College center for parenthood and family.
  • The Maya center is a national, multi – disciplinary center for parenthood and the family in cultural transition. Its objective is to empower parents and family in these times of cultural transition and to encourage their absorption in Israeli communities.

Objectives of the center in the information sphere:

  • To gather existing information on the subject of parenthood and family in cultural transition and to create new information from experience in working with immigrants.
  • To organize and to disseminate this information among the teachers and counsellors operating in this field.

Objectives of the center in human resources sphere:

  • To train skilled workers able to guide with sensitivity and understanding and to continue to develop their professional skills
  • To attract suitable, motivated professionals
  • To develop community oriented parental leadership among new immigrants
  • To encourage and train immigrant parents for educational activity in the community and educational frameworks.

Objectives in the professional and public spheres:

  • To develop strategic thinking on a national scale relevant to the family in cultural transition.
  • To influence the attitudes of decision makers on issues related to immigration and acculturation of families in transition.
  • To arouse awareness among professionals and those affiliated with relevant organizations of the need for spreading information and acting professionally to facilitate the process of cultural transition.
  • To encourage and initiate relations between organizations and institutions to increase dialogue between immigrants and community workers who are helping them to adjust to their new life.

Unique projects of the Maya center

A training program for immigrants as moderators of parent groups

This program targets new immigrants with undergraduate degrees in education, the behavioral sciences or other disciplines relevant to communitywork. Candidates for training must also have a good command of Hebrew. The program extends over five semesters and involves a total of 560 study hours and 30 hours of internship. Immigrants who complete the moderator training receive a certificate on completion of their apprenticeship.

“On the bridge“

This is a training program designed to combat cultural shock among immigrants by adding to the community, supportive workers able and willing to help parents and family through cultural transition. The lectures are in Hebrew but the moderators of the parent groups speak in the parents‘ native language.
The goal of these meetings is to empower the immigrants and restore their self confidence and their former stature as normally functioning parents.

Meeting of Moderators

A professional club for certified immigrant - parent group moderators.
The club acts to facilitate enrichment and learning in parental guidance and deals with topics such as parents in cultural transition, cultural mediation, and peer teaching.