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 Sharon Eretz, an educator at Frankel Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit, to see how she has been translating the content to her teaching for the benefit of her students. (To see subsequent posts from Rabbi Reuven Travis of Atlanta Jewish Academy, visit here and from Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, visit here).
Sharon Eretz, Frankel Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit:
When did you attend the Workshop?
Summer of 2017, and then again Summer of 2018 from June 24-28, 2018 in Atlanta
What subject do you teach in your school?
History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Holocaust Studies, Jewish History, Israel Leadership
What resources from the Workshop have you used in your work in your school, and how?
I use Rich Walter’s material on the different Zionist factions, Dr. Tal Grinfas-David’s information on the historical development of Modern Hebrew, and a lot of resources from the general sessions which provide a lot of good background information. I follow up with my own research (as any good student should). Due to the nature of the information aligning so closely to my own courses, I use all the resources that we are given permissions for. This information is extremely helpful.
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.
Just this past week, I was teaching about the Churchill White Paper of 1922. Ken Stein’s introduction to this primary source, along with the source itself, followed by Arab/Jewish response to this policy, is a complete package to present to students (it is available here). My students and I went over the material together, and follow it with informed discussions reflecting on the material provided by CIE.
How has your students’ experience changed since your participation in the Workshop?
I have become a better teacher, a more informed teacher, a more passionate teacher – and this directly impacts my students.