Immigrant Kolnoar
Immigrant Kolnoar was spun off from the Kolnoar project. The project targets new immigrant youth, who are not necessarily at risk, and works with groups according to country of origin. Immigrant Kolnoar has so far formed groups for new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, the Caucasus, and mixed groups of new immigrants and veteran Israelis.

The program's activities are similar to those of Kolnoar, but they also give expression to the unique struggles that immigrant youths face, including difficulties with absorption into Israeli society. The opportunity to express these experiences in a dramatic film, and not just verbally, helps the group define its identity while also promoting the group's integration in society.

Filmmaking has contributed to social consolidation among groups of participants and it has improved the participants' self-esteem. The issues raised during the project help youths cope with subjects that are usually overlooked. The experience of making a film provides a positive teamwork experience and includes cooperation between the immigrant youths and between immigrants and veteran Israelis. Moreover, the project helps immigrants improve their abilities to express themselves in Hebrew, which goes a long way toward helping them adjust to their new lives in Israel.

Kolnoar—Circles of Production
The Cinema Circle

In Kolnoar, youths are exposed to a modern and attractive media form that enables them to express their world, their aspirations, their perspectives, their surroundings, and their self-identity. The camera lens captures these expressions from the youths' points of view. An added value of cinematic creativity is that the youths are transformed from being passive consumers of film and television media to being active participants in media production, while learning different production tasks. Filmmaking enables participants to tap into imagination and capabilities that have not previously been expressed or appreciated.

The cinematic aspect of the project has two facets: First, the camera captures the youths' experiences in the group. Each session begins with a review of material filmed in the previous session. The camera provides an objective and unbiased view that serves as a mirror that helps the youths self-reflect and evaluate the entire group.

The second facet entails film production. During their sessions, the youths create a screenplay and prepare for production through casting, rehearsals, identifying filming sites, and fulfilling a host of other professional functions such as acting and assisting the Lahav Association's director and cinematographer. This stage instills in the young participants the importance of teamwork, verbal and non-verbal expression, cooperation and division of labor, keeping schedule, giving support and receiving support, trusting others, and coping with a structured framework.
Kolnoar – The Therapeutic Circle

In Kolnoar meetings, drama exercises focus on improvised depictions of personal events and circumstances from the youths' lives, which the participants choose to represent. Drama allows for immediate processing of raw personal materials. Drama participants can work through their subject matter, inspect it and adapt it, before representing it as they see fit. As the participants overcome their initial fears and begin to flow naturally with the drama exercises, they gain confidence in their abilities to improvise and they are able to transform the stage into whatever they want it to be.

The improvisations are documented and analyzed by the participants, enabling them to appreciate the entire process that they undergo. The experiences embody progress and development and they offer welcome changes for individuals that previously viewed themselves and their lives as static and incapable of changing.

Searching for a story to depict and film leads participants to actively reflect on the challenges in their lives. The search for a story line leads them to imagine various ways of bringing about change. Screening the group's film in the community increases awareness of the issues that the group deals with.

Dramatic and psycho-dramatic tools make personal empowerment possible.
Psycho-dramatic techniques help youths assume many different roles. They can observe situations in their life and analyze them from different points of view and they can also consider different responses to situations that they face. By creating an experimental space that is free of judgment, the participants can focus on meaningful subject matters that affect their daily lives, such as stereotypes, various dilemmas and conflicts, dreams and fantasies. The experience encourages future introspection and enables participants to better connect with their positive personal traits, such as the ability to empathize with others and to choose a goal and pursue it.


Kolnoar – The Social-Community Circle

The social-community circle is a direct product and byproduct of the cinematic and social elements of Kolnoar. The stories that appear in the project's films utilize real-life snippets from the world of at-risk youths in Israeli society. The films deal with subjects that are the shared concerns of many youths and they provide opportunities for expressing identities and connecting with others. The world that is known to these youths can be thought of as "the backyard" of contemporary Israeli society.

"Kolnoar" provides compelling documentation of Israeli society as it is seen by amateur actors who are talented and brave enough to expose their world to public viewing. The films are high-quality professional productions and the youths share in the cinematic production tasks. The visual element of the films promotes discussion of painful subjects that often cannot be confronted, due to denial, taboos, shame and tradition. The films' broad circles of influence make them useful materials for discussions and exercises on the subject of conflicts experienced by adolescents and by traditional societies.

In communities where this project takes place its process has brought a new focus to problems that were previously considered irresolvable. By promoting discussion of these subjects in the community, the project further expands its influence and promotes awareness of these issues in additional treatment frameworks that may be able to offer solutions.

Kolnoar – The Nationwide Circle

Besides the project's continued influence in each community where it exists, Kolnoar has an additional circle of influence. The films made through the project, along with the knowledge and experience gained in the three years of its existence, serve dozens of organizations throughout the country. The films, on their own, or combined with lectures and seminars, are used for education and training in a variety of subject areas. The films thus gain exposure not only in local communities, but also in national organizations including the IDF, "Alternativ", ELI, the National Council for the Child, and others.

The staff of the Lahav Association arranges special presentations, enrichment training and educational seminars for professionals from various fields that work with children and youths, in treatment and counseling. These presentations offer professionals a deeper look into the lives of at-risk youth and the ways that they cope and are treated. These activities help to expand the project's influence all over the country.
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