Bridging cultures through technology.
NEAR's Educational system seeks to overcome language barriers and physical distances and to generate long-lasting human connections, using advanced technologies.
NEAR is a nonprofit organization that was established in memory of Nir Diskin, who passed away in 2014, at the young age of 30 after a long battle with cancer.
Nir believed strongly in social justice and was passionate about promoting ideals of tolerance and acceptance. NEAR endeavors to help realize this vision through education to create a world in which people are respected regardless of their perceived or real differences.
NEAR’s educational method is the first Israeli program developed for multicultural cooperative learning among the different sectors of Israeli society.
In the Israeli school system, students in the secular Jewish, religious Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Bedouin, and Druze communities are almost completely segregated and rarely have opportunities to interact with each other.
NEAR was established by the Diskin family and The TEC Center's three founders and directors: Dr. Miri Shonfeld from the Jewish secular Kibbutzim College of Education, Dr. Elaine Hoter from the Orthodox Jewish Talpiot Education College, and Dr. Asmaa N. Ganayem from the Arab-Islamic Al-Qasemi Academy. Drs. Shonfeld, Hoter, and Ganayem are renowned education scholars, specializing in the use of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in education. They all have served as Heads of ICT in their respective colleges.