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

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

Posted by: Guest

October 25, 2018

Rabbi Levingston (left) at CIE Workshop in Atlanta

How does your school find and utilize materials for Israel education?
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 Judd Kruger Levingston of Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (to see a previous post from Sharon Eretz, Frankel Jewish Academy, visit here, and for a post from Rabbi Reuven Travis of Atlanta Jewish Academy, visit here).
Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
When did you attend the Workshop?
Summer 2016
What subject do you teach in your school?
Jewish Studies
What resources from the Workshop have you used in your work in your school, and how?
The weekly chronology of Israel-related events/milestones; the story of the song “Hatikvah”; material on songs of Israel and changing musical tastes.
How has your students’ experience changed since your participation in the Workshop?
They are more aware of world antisemitism and of Israeli culture beyond falafel and the hora. They become interested in Israeli music, art and architecture in different decades. They also have a more nuanced view of the complexities of Israeli society beyond the Ashkenazic-Sephardic binary view.
Please share a story or stories about how your experience at the workshop has benefitted your work at school or changed how you teach Israel education.
In my tenth grade Jewish studies class, we look at different ethnic groups within Israel, beyond Ashkenazim and Sephardim.  In my eighth grade Jewish studies class, students take up independent projects after studying the origins of “Hatikva.” They choose a topic of interest in the arts or politics, or they choose a particular person to study. They undertake research to develop expertise around their chosen topic or to develop a well-rounded biography called “Hero Israel!”

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