In planning for 2023-2024, many Religious School directors identified Israel education as an area calling for enhanced attention in the part-time Jewish education sector. BJE enlisted Professor Sivan Zakai of HUC-JIR, a field leader in Israel education to facilitate eight one-hour learning sessions for educators, starting in October. While helping students process in real time the current situation in Israel, educators are embarking on a sustained exploration of the issues and challenges of Israel education with Professor Zakai. Participants in this year’s learning sessions are committed to developing action plans for innovation in this aspect of their school’s curriculum, with implementation to begin in the year ahead.
The Israel Education community of practice joins several others – including a community of practice for new directors, a community of practice for schools working on positive education, a community of practice on Torah Godly Play (an experiential education approach) – serving the needs of the more than 30 schools participating in BJE’s Religious School Educators Network. The Israel Education Initiative meets a compelling need, and will impact the educational experience of thousands of children.
“There has never been a more important time for Religious School educators to engage in this topic,” said Dr. Gil Graff, Executive Director of BJE. “Students are receiving input from so many sources, and our role in helping them navigate all of this information is critical. Professor Zakai is an incredible resource for our educators, and partner to BJE in offering this professional development opportunity.”
All LA-area BJE-affiliated Religious Schools are invited to participate. For more information, contact David Lewis, BJE Director of the Center for Excellence in Jewish Education.