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In Israel today there is a lack of critical and coherent public social economic discourse. Such discourse scarcely exists in academia and is unattainable beyond academia to the public at large. This lack of discourse has created a social-economic policy in Israel which we believe has led over the past 20 years to a growing rate of poverty. Working people in Israel living under the poverty line rose from 21% in 1989 to 34.5% in 2005.

The Social Economic Academy (SEA) is the only organization that offers a popular platform for such discourse. Our activities expand the knowledge to the public at large and social activists in particular. SEA offers people both the theory and critical tools needed to promote economic alternatives, as well as creating an opportunity for these people to engage in dialogue and to encounter different members of Israeli society. Furthermore, SEA encourages its students to become involved in actions that will lead to changes in social-economic policy.

Over the last 5 years since its inception, SEA has directly reached more than 15,000 people of all ages, from all ethnicities and from all walks of life through our activities all over Israel. In addition, SEA reaches hundreds of thousands of people annually through it s lectures and articles that are published weekly on popular internet sites; daily radio columns that address issues at critical junctures, as well as other media related activities. More than 1000 entries to SEA’s web-site are counted daily.

SEA holds activities in four branches across Israel: Beer Sheva, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. In addition SEA holds classes in different locations in the periphery such as the Arab Village of Arara (2006), the Bedouin city Rahat, the city of Sderot, the city of Beit-Shemesh, Kibutz Mishmar Haemek, Acre and many more. All of the teachers (now more then 470) donate their time, and the symbolic tuition is used to cover rental expenses of the classrooms. SEA had been creating a network of cooperation with different organizations – some (sixteen) provide facilities, some (ten) assist in networking and publication and some (twelve) offer support to deal with shared concerns.

Our activities focus around three areas:
1. Knowledge – we offer short and full semester series of courses providing theoretical information and practical tools.

2. Agents of Change – we offer courses to activists in organizations for social change such as Community Advocacy, Ahoti, the Scout Youth Movement, Hashomer Hatza’ir, Hanoar Ha’Oved, the Ma’ase Center, and the Training School for Social Services’ Workers.

3. Public Debate – the Social Economic Academy uses different public platform to spread its message: major internet media outlets such as YNet and Walla, critical economic public debates in different political cross points, A Movie and Lecture series in major cities’ Cinematheque.