The community center is an independent institution that operates as a non-profit organization or public benefit company (PBC), on the basis of partnership with the local authority in which it is located. The community center is governed by a public board of management, which is composed of representatives of the local authority, local residents, the IACC and in certain community centers representatives from the Jewish Agency.
The public board of management is legally responsible for the administration and finances of the community center. The director of the community center institutes the board’s management policy. A special contract governs the relationship between the local authority, IACC and the local community center.
Most community centers are located in their own buildings. In addition they also operate daycare facilities, performance halls, gymnasiums, libraries, swimming pools and more.
The community center is a focal point for communal, social, recreational and cultural activities for the whole community, based on a vision that brings together residents, the local authority and the business community. The community center offers accessible services to all residents to ensure that each resident feels meaningful and a sense of belonging. The community centers promote the development processes of community building, support public involvement, volunteerism and entrepreneurship, and encourage community pride and belonging as an integral part of Israeli society.
The community center is open most of the day, to all segments, sectors and ages. Activities are varied, flexible and cover many topics, depending on the needs and wants of the residents, based on their participation in the various committees that determine the annual activities of the community center.
The community center’s activities combine diverse populations including residents with physical mental or emotional disabilities. Among the varied and rich activities offered by the community centers are: frameworks for early childhood and family including daycare, after-school programs and early childhood and family development centers, multidisciplinary and multi-age group learning centers, ‘Amitim’ (Colleagues) programs for people with mental disorders, ‘Reim’ (Friends) for people on the autism spectrum, and ‘Kehila Negisha' (Accessible Community) programs for people with physical disabilities. The community centers offer classes and enrichment activities in various fields, sports and cultural events, shows, trips and excursions, as well as customized programming adapted to the needs of each specific community.