The Henrietta Szold Institute was established in Jerusalem in 1941. The institute is a public, not-for-profit organization, which is dedicated to serving the Israeli education system and social service systems in several ways, including:
Providing educational and social scientific research to various bodies, such as the Israeli government, municipalities and local councils, and to more than 25 leading public bodies such as Taglit – Birthright Israel Foundation, the Rothschild Foundation, World Ort, the Jewish Agency, Joint Distribution Committee and many others.
Evaluating the progress of educational and social programs that relate to significant areas and issues, such as:
- Early Childhood Development.
- Youth at risk.
- Conflict resolution, reconciliation, and countering youth violence.
- Integrating populations with special needs into society.
- Jewish and Israeli identity.
- Cultural diversity, inter-cultural contact, and immigrant adaptation and absorption.
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education.
- Development of literacy.
- Talent identification and nurturing.
- Environmental education, environmental preservation and protection.
The institute provides data-based feedback on program processes and outcomes as a means to enhance their accountability and effectiveness.
- Designing databases for collecting output and outcome data and monitoring programs systematically.
- Developing standardized achievement and screening tests.
- Assisting the Ministry of Education and other organizations to develop intervention programs, especially through identifying and developing talent among students from diverse backgrounds.
- Implementing professional training and lifelong learning programs for professionals such as teachers and school principals, in order to develop their instructional and leadership skills.
- Managing an information center which maintains an extensive electronic database of more than 90,000 Israeli research publications and MA and Ph.D. theses in the fields of education and social sciences. Each year, more than 140,000 people access the database on the internet and more than 5000 people visit the information center.
- Directing the National School for Information Skills. The school imparts information skills to a diverse population and assists more than 3,000 high school and university students in completing papers and projects in social science.
- Publishing the most prestigious journal in Hebrew called ‘Megamot’ (Trends) for research in the behavioral sciences since 1949.
The Henrietta Szold Institute is headed by Dr. Rachel Zorman. Its annual budget is more than 25,000,000 Shekels. It employs 80 full time professionals and more than a 100 part time professionals with broad areas of expertise, predominantly in the fields of education, social sciences, and research methodology.