Matzmichim – Uplifters

Matzmichim – The Israeli Violence Reduction Organization is a non-profit association established in 2004 with the goal of preventing school violence and alienation through transforming classrooms into safer and more nurturing environment in which pupils can develop a sense of belonging and self-worth. Our programs and workshops target educational professionals, pupils and parents in order to provide them with the practical skills and experience necessary to reduce violence and bullying (verbal, physical, virtual) and promote pro-social behavior in classrooms in a sustainable manner.

Our unique intervention model is based on international violence prevention research and practice, coupled with self-developed strategies. In our training programs, we work through experiential pedagogies that include the entire school community instead of focusing on victims or perpetrators. Therefore, the activities in our workshops facilitate a reflection of the social situations in our classrooms through authentic emotional discussion, permitting a change of norms and attitude from within. This reflects on the main principles of our organization and our aim to strengthen and empower educators as well as school children and youth. In our work, we focus on promoting pro-social behavior by raising awareness for positive role models in the school and supporting children and youth that help others grow and develop. Based on this concept, our Hebrew name Matzmichim translates to “Uplifters” (from the adjective uplifting) – our aim is to support children helping each other grow and develop.

Up to date, we have worked with 70,000 students as well as 25,000 teachers, counselors and parents all across Israel in a wide range of schools, including schools for youth-at-risk in the Arab, Jewish Orthodox and Jewish secular sector as well as in schools for children with special needs. In addition, we conduct training courses domestically and internationally for parents and educators.

Matzmichim was awarded with the Knesset Chairman Quality of Life Award for their innovative work by the Israeli Government in 2016, honoring the significant contribution of the organization towards the improvement of Israeli society. Furthermore, it was chosen by the New Fund for Israel and by the Israel Venture Network Fund as one of the four leading social start-ups from 2008 through 2010.