How do I support MEET?
Supporting MEET is an investment in the future leaders of the Middle East. MEET supporters contribute to our success in diverse ways – with their experience, their services and through charitable gifts. We welcome your investment. See our donate page to learn more.
Where and how do you recruit students?
Our focus is on Palestinian and Israeli youth who excel academically and show leadership and teamwork potential, regardless of their backgrounds or socio-economic status. Students are equally represented across nationality and gender. Recruitment is comprised of a 6-month screening process including a written exam, a group dynamics session and a personal interview. We typically have more than 800 applicants for 80 openings each year. Youth are accepted on merit only and receive full scholarships to MEET, as well as tutoring in English as needed. We recruit from 42 schools and 11 cities in Israel and the West Bank/Palestine, including East and West Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Mevasseret, Beit Shemesh, Nazareth and surrounding areas.
How is MEET different from other programs in the Middle East?
Long term: 3 years, 600 academic hours, plus ongoing alumni network in the Venture Lab and more
Local: all programs are in Jerusalem or Nazareth, so MEET is integrated into our students’ daily lives rather than removed from the realities of the status quo
Skill-based: MIT volunteer instructors teach technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership, then youth launch projects that address real-world problems
Equal representation: 200 students and 300 alumni, 50% girls, 50% boys; 50% Palestinians, 50% Israelis
Excelling students: 800+ applicants from 11 cities in Israel and the West Bank/Palestine, 10% acceptance rate, top level curriculum developed and taught by volunteer instructors from MIT
What is MEET’s connection to MIT?
MEET was born at MIT. Two of the MEET founders are graduates of MIT and the summer program instructor team is comprised of MIT students and graduates. Moreover, MEET is supported by a wide range of students, faculty and alumni of MIT. We are honored to have the support of MIT President Dr. Reif, former President Prof. Vest, and CSAIL and Sloan professors. We are an independent nonprofit with 501(c)3 status in the US and Amuta status in Israel.
Who is behind MEET?
MEET is run by a committed group of Israelis, Palestinians and internationals (meet our people). We are supported by a prestigious network of business, technology and social leaders from the Middle East, the United States, and Europe (meet our supporters). We believe that constructive efforts in the Middle East will be greatly enhanced by such partnerships. MEET is a non-profit and non-political program that was founded in 2004. MEET’s programs are run by a highly dedicated team of instructors from MIT and the Middle East who are determined to help shape tomorrow by empowering our youth today.
How do you measure success?
Ultimately, we measure success in our alumni being in leadership positions that drive social and political change in the Middle East. Our model is designed for Palestinian and Israeli young leaders to take a lead - whether in business or politics or social movements - and maintain and draw from their bi-national network. We see early indicators of success in:
- youth valuing their bi-national network: recent evaluations showed a 60% increase in students valuing working with someone of the other nationality in the first two years of the program
- critical thinking about the status quo: evaluations also reflected a leap in questioning underlying assumptions about the conflict
- high participation in alumni activities: 72% of alumni are actively engaged with each other and MEET despite social and time pressures, while 75% of alumni live in the Middle East
- projects that address real-world problems: 100 student projects and 19 alumni ventures that tackle issues like media bias, education, ecology and sharing economies
What are MEET's biggest challenges?
We live and work in one of the most complex conflicts in the world.
Political climate and reality of ongoing conflict: Israelis and Palestinians face growing isolation, extremism and a widespread loss of hope that a peaceful future is possible. We regularly experience regional crisis that on the one hand challenge us emotionally, politically and logistically. On the other hand, each instance of violence and lack of leadership on both sides remind us why we do what we do. Our strength lies in our bi-national team who is committed to a future of dignity, peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.
Resilient and engaged alumni network: Our impact is ultimately realized in our alumni leveraging their values, skills and network to lead change in their communities. Just like all youth programs, we are challenged to keep alumni engaged with each other and MEET after they graduate and go on to universities, the army, and careers. They face increasing social and physical isolation from each other, as well as demands on their time and talents. We continue to evolve the Alumni Program to provide opportunities for leadership that are valuable to alumni and empower them to take their first steps as change makers.
Maintaining an excellence program: We know that in order to achieve lasting impact, we must maintain an intensive, long-term and hands-on approach with our youth. The obstacles the next generation faces are too great to compromise quality for quantity. We are challenged to maintain standards of excellence as we scale our program in order to achieve greater impact.
Financial sustainability: We make a commitment to invest in our students with scholarships to MEET, in order for them to invest what they gain back into their communities and the region without being limited by financial barriers. We are supported by a network of foundations, corporations, institutions and individuals who share this vision. Foundations have finite grant cycles, therefore we have a strategic focus on growing our network of individual supporters to sustain the program - and to promote hope by taking constructive action together. You can meet our supporters.