PERACH, an acronym in Hebrew for "tutoring project", also means a "flower". PERACH pairs up needy children from underprivileged backgrounds with university students who act as their tutors, giving the child personal attention (often sorely lacking) and serving as a role model.
The care that PERACH children receive from their mentors helps them realize their potential and blossom into motivated individuals.
The PERACH project was established in 1974 by a handful of students from the Weizmann Institute of Science, who tutored children in need. Since then it has expanded enormously, both in scale and in the scope of its activities. Today, approximately 15% of all students in Israel's institutes of higher education and tens of thousands of children take part in the project each year.
PERACH children come from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, often suffering from educational, emotional and behavioral difficulties. Approximately 20% of PERACH children are new immigrants, with equal numbers coming from the Arab sector.
Being the largest organization of its kind in the world, PERACH has become a source of inspiration and practical support to PERACH-like organizations, now operating in about 20 countries worldwide.
In 2008, on the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary, PERACH was awarded the Israel Prize for its ongoing contribution to the state and to society.