The Tamar Center is a new non-for-profit organization in the Negev that will tackle some of the most difficult problems facing any sub-sect of Israeli society today. Founded in 2015 by Ibrahim Nasasra, a local Bedouin philanthropist, who invested NIS 1 million to launch and operate the organization in its first year, it works to advance and develop the Bedouin community in the Negev and thereby create a better shared future for the Negev and the State of Israel. (More information on Ibrahim Nasasra, can be found in the Task Force's in-depth paper Arab Philanthropy in Israel: Insights into Strategic Giving) .
Currently, the Bedouin population in Israel is "leading" in the wrong direction with the worst education statistics out of any demographic in Israeli society. The rate of high school matriculation is 36%, the lowest in the country, meaning only approximately 1,800 students out of the 6,000 who entered Kindergarten are graduating each year.
In general, the Jewish and Bedouin populations live side by side in the Negev, separately, but without much hostility. The Tamar Center believes that by narrowing socioeconomic gaps between the the Jewish and Bedouin populations, ia more positive future for cooperation and relations between the two groups can be ensured. Whereas the Center recognize the variety of areas that require attention, it views education as the key field - touching all other aspects of each Bedouin person's life.
The first program launched by the Center is the Excellence in the Sciences program through which they are helping students achieve A-level matriculation in math, physics, and English. The rate of Bedouin high school students currently completing A-level matriculation currently stands at less than 1%.