Local Educators Learn Strategies for Enhancing Curriculum on Israel

Local Educators Learn Strategies for Enhancing Curriculum on Israel

The Center for Israel Education and the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel recently held the 16th annual educator workshop on teaching Israel in Atlanta, Georgia, in June. Among the 75 participants from the United States, Canada and Mexico were Harvey Raben and Sam Rosenstein of Congregation Agudas Achim.

Empowering educators, and through them their students, has remained the objective of this exceptional learning opportunity, funded by the Avi Chai Foundation of North America, in which more than 800 educators have participated since its inception.

Throughout the five day workshop, participants learned with leading scholars and practitioners in sessions focusing on Israel’s history, politics and culture. Specialized learning tracks were included to enhance participants’ personal knowledge and provide them with unique strategies for implementing materials into the settings in which they teach. Primary sources and their use in the classroom was a particular emphasis of the week.

Kenneth Stein, CIE president and Emory University professor, created the workshop in 2000. He opened the program June 25, and stated, “Understanding Israel’s past and present helps to provide a glimpse into who we are as a Jewish people. A common history connects us all, regardless of geography, politics or flavor of Judaism practiced. We need to know Israel’s story and that of its people because Israel is integral to Jewish identity in the 21st century.”

Participants took part in a variety of interactive and engaging learning sessions that highlighted content and instructional techniques. Sessions included Teaching Israel through Liturgy, Development of the Hebrew Language, the June 1967 War, The Politics of Representation in Israel and Reality Television as a Paradigm for Israel Education.

Most of the sessions engaged educators in usingprimary sources collected from Arabic, Hebrew, German and English archives and books gathered by Stein during his more than 40 years of teaching courses on modern Israel for Emory College students.

Participants left the workshop laden with notes, teaching strategies, and curricular ideas to use this coming school year.

Details will soon be available about the 2018 workshop, tentatively planned for June 24-28, 2018. ■

For more information about the Center for Israel Education or the annual workshop, contact Rich.walter@israeled.org or visit www.israeled.org.

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