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Inadequate education and lack of work experience are among the main obstacles that block single mothers from joining the workforce, and particularly from well-paid and stable jobs. Children that grow up in low-income single parent families, especially in Israel's geographic and social periphery, are denied the educational, social and material conditions to pave their own way to higher education and steady employment.

The "Maskila" program began as part of Rashi's Katzir Scholarship Program, aiming to help single parents (90% of them mothers) to advance and improve their socioeconomic situation by acquiring employment-oriented higher education.

The unique approach of Katzir provides students with holistic support throughout their studies. In addition to tuition fees and living stipend, they enjoy academic reinforcement, personal coaching and even material aid if necessary.

The participants of Maskila say that the program was a significant factor in their decision to enroll in academic studies, and that they were more than likely to drop out without its support. Moreover, an evaluation study found that 66% of the program's graduates earn more than NIS 5,000 a month, compared to only 35% before starting their studies.

Over 60% of the graduates report that they earn more than their friends who don't have an academic degree.

In view of the program's proven success, the Ministry of Labor and Welfare entered into a joint initiative with Rashi to scale it up with an emphasis on the professional development and improved career prospects of the participants.


The initiative, in cooperation with the academic institutes, will assist 270 students a year over four years. At the end of this period, the Ministry will take full responsibility for the program and incorporate it into the array of services for single parent families, which are designed to minimize their dependence of the social services and create opportunities for social-economic mobility for the parents as well as their children.



Ministry of Labor and Welfare

Academic institutes





Rashi Foundation

 R Rashi