Yaacov Hecht

Founder of Democratic School and Education Cities

Yaacov founded the Democratic School in Hadera, Israel, 30 years ago. This was the first school in the world called a “Democratic School. A democratic school, as the term is used, is a school where students are trusted to take responsibility for their own lives and learning, and for the school community.

Today there are hundreds of innovative democratic schools around the globe, 30 of them in Israel.

In 1996, he founded the Institute for Democratic Education (IDE). As part of Yaacov’s work in IDE, he opened the first academic program for the training of democratic education teachers in Israel’s leading college of education. Then, he opened a graduate program in Democratic Education in Tel Aviv University. In 2007, Yaacov initiated the Pioneer training program for innovative and groundbreaking school principals.

In 2010 Yaacov started Education Cities – the Art of Collaborations

In order to support a child’s quest for learning, Education Cities facilitates the transformation of the city as a whole into a school. Every enterprise, whether a theater or a soccer team, and every available resource in a child’s city can serve as a fertile ground for his/her learning.

In return, the city itself benefits by contributing to a generation of students who are actively involved and invested in their communities. A city successful in linking its strength and growth areas with that of its students, and population as a whole, will produce strategic and exceptionally meaningful relationships in its community.

In January 2017, Education Cities was chosen by the Finnish project HundrED, as one of the leading education initiatives in the world.