Harry Oscar Triguboff Launches the Switch Centre for training and advancement of employment in Idan HaNegev

November 13, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Sydney mega-developer Harry Triguboff has opened the Switch Centre, a project of the Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute for training and advancement of employment in Bedouin society.

Chris Cannan and Harry Triguboff wit two locals

The centre operates in the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park, which is shared by Rahat, Bnei Shimon, and Lehavim, and which is located on the outskirts of the Bedouin city of Rahat.

The centre was dedicated by  Harry Triguboff, accompanied by his wife, Rhonda and his daughters, Orna Triguboff and Sharon Hendler.

The dedication took place in the presence of members of the local and international leadership, among them Australia’s ambassador to Israel, Chris Cannan; Triguboff Institute Chairman and former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy; the mayors of the localities that are partners in the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park Alon Schuster; the mayor of Lehavim and the chairman of Idan HaNegev, Yossi Nissan; mayor of Rahat, Faiz Abu Sahiben; Head of the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, Nir Zamir; CEO of the Triguboff Institute, Shalom Norman; CEO of the Idan HaNegev Company, Moshe Paul; entrepreneur and businessman  Ibrahim Nsasra. Heads of academic institutions in the Negev were also present at the inauguration ceremony. A ribbon was cut during the ceremony to mark the official launch of the centre’s activities, and a mezuza was mounted on the doorpost.

The Switch Center for Training and Advancement of Employment is a project of the Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute in Beit Idan HaNegev, in partnership with the Idan HaNegev Company and with assistance from JNF Australia. The centre, which has an area of approximately 500 square meters, contains classrooms, a room for computer workshops, a clinic, a multi-purpose hall, workspaces, offices, an auditorium, and conference rooms. The centre was established in accordance with the vision of Mr Triguboff to advance employment in the Bedouin society in the Negev — a vision that he developed after visiting the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park. Established in partnership with the Idan HaNegev Company and with assistance from JNF Australia, the centre will be operated by a staff of members of Bedouin and Jewish society. Its executive board will be headed by Howie Myers, a member of the Triguboff Institute’s executive board.

Harry Triguboff addressed the audience at the event, saying: “Approximately three years ago, I was here together with Shalom Norman and Moshe Paul, and I saw this empty lot in the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park. It is amazing to see how, together with Idan HaNegev, we succeeded in creating such an important centre in so short a time in the heart of the industrial park, which significantly reduced the unemployment rate in Rahat and in Bedouin society in the Negev. This is an achievement for everyone involved in this project.”

Australian ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan said, “Harry Triguboff is one of the leading philanthropists in Australia. It is a privilege for me to be part of such an important project and to be here together with you at the Switch Center. I see the opening of this centre as a continuation of the relationship between Australia and Israel. Thank you for your wonderful hosting, and I hope that cooperation with Australia will continue to grow.”

Former Mossad chief and Triguboff Institute chairman Efraim Halevy said, “Harry is the reason we all are here today. He is the reason for the revolution that he is creating in Israel. Harry has made a unique contribution to Israeli society and, in this case, to Bedouin society, which is an important and significant society. Thank you for being here, Harry. It is exciting to see how the centre looks after only two years of work. This project means equal opportunities for everyone, and I wish success to all of us.”

Faiz Abu Sahiben, mayor of Rahat, said, “This is a proud occasion for the city of Rahat, which is hosting the people who are helping Bedouin society. This centre provides opportunities for young Bedouin men and women, and we take pride in our partnership with Idan HaNegev. Thanks to this park, the unemployment rate has gone down from 34 to 11 per cent, and when there is employment, it is possible to achieve many good things. May you be successful.”

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