Mar 192018
 
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Are your students becoming excited for the Passover break? How much more excited would they be if after the Passover break they were going on a school trip to Israel!

This is what happens for students at Gesher JDS in DC, as documented in the case study “Getting Ready to Fly,” which can be accessed here on the AVI CHAI site. It is part of the case studies project released by AVI CHAI in 2015, “How Schools Enact Their Jewish Missions: 20 Case Studies of Jewish Day Schools.”

This case study may be resonant and relevant if you are thinking about your school’s Israel education, and how an Israel trip may serve to catalyze the curriculum and unite the school. At Gesher, and, as found by AVI CHAI research , at many day schools across the country, Israel provides the glue holding people together. Jewish identity appears anchored in the relationship to Israel. How true is that at your school?

Here are some other questions that the case study might elicit for you, about this school and about your own, for discussion by your school leadership, board, and other stakeholders:

  • What do you think of the way in which the school presents Israel? What do you think are the core messages and values about Israel that the school seeks to convey?
  • What constellation of stakeholders coalesces at Gesher to make the school’s vision of Israel come to fruition?
  • For all of its planfulness and creativity in providing students with an experience of Israel education, educators in the school feel that they could do still better in these matters. What examples do you find in this case of opportunities missed and of opportunities seized when it comes to Israel education?
  • How do you think these students will feel about Gesher and about Israel five to ten years down the road?

We encourage you to read the full case study here and share it with your schools stakeholders.