AVI CHAI concluded its general grant making on December 31, 2019.

CIE/ISMI Summer Workshop – How Are Educators Using the Resources? Part II

Posted by: Guest

October 24, 2018

How does your school find and utilize materials for Israel education?

At the CIE Workshop in Atlanta.

One of the goals of the Center for Israel Education (CIE) is to serve as a clearinghouse for best practices in Israel education by providing access to primary and secondary sources through the production and dissemination of innovative curricula and programming.
In service of this goal, for the past 17 years CIE has offered an Educator Enrichment Workshop on Modern Israel, with funding from AVI CHAI. Currently, the Workshop is a five-day opportunity for educators and educational leaders to deepen their understanding of Israel’s history, politics, economy and culture, while cultivating participants’ skills in classroom application and best practices. Each day is filled with content, curriculum development sessions, and time for reflecting and processing ideas culled. Over the course of the workshop, participants receive a wide array of tools for curriculum development and teaching which they take back to their schools, relevant for grades 2-12.
Last summer’s participants are now hard at work implementing the tools and materials they received in Jewish day school classrooms across the country. We checked in with Rabbi Reuven Travis of Atlanta Jewish Academy (to see a previous post from Sharon Eretz, Frankel Jewish Academy, visit here and from Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, visit here).
Rabbi Reuben Travis, Atlanta Jewish Academy:
When did you attend the Workshop?
2008 and again in 2016 with a team of four colleagues.
What subject do you teach in your school?
Judaics (Chumash, Halakha, Zionism, Shoah, Israel advocacy) and General Studies (African-American History)
What resources from the Workshop have you used in your work in your school, and how?
Various videos as well as many, many articles from the CIE website and archives in my Zionsim and Shoah classes. The quality of these resources is excellent, and having them in a “central clearing house” just makes it so much easier to find and access such important materials.
How has your students’ experience changed since your participation in the Workshop?
The biggest plus has been the many original documents I can find via CIE. Using primary source documents is so critical to teaching history courses such as my classes on Zionism and the Shoah. I have made particular use of the Arab primary source documents in teaching Zionism so that students have a better understanding of both sides of the events during the founding of the State.
How has participating in the Workshop benefited you in your professional development as an educator?
I have benefited from the personal ties I developed with the CIE staff. I feel that I can always turn to them for help and guidance. Rich in particular was so very helpful when I was first development my course on Zionism.
The curriculum for Rabbi Travis’s course can be accessed via this link.

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