Section archive - Israel Education
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How do Jewish educators navigate the multiple demands of their work in Israel education, especially when the target audience is young children? Sivan Zakai, a scholar and researcher of Israel education for young children, suggests three things when it comes to Israel education and early ages.
Updated: Mar. 11, 2020
“I’m Going to Israel and All I Need to Pack Is My Imagination”: Pretend Trips to Israel in Jewish Early Childhood Education
This article examines the practice of pretend Israel trips in Jewish early childhood education. Jewish early childhood educators who work in markedly different preschool settings, and who have differing beliefs about Israel and Israel education, nonetheless converge on a practice of pretend trips to Israel that remains remarkably stable across settings. This article examines how and why these pretend trips have become part of the “grammar” of Jewish early childhood education, illuminating a practice that is simultaneously beloved and unsatisfying for Jewish early childhood educators who care about early childhood education and Israel education.
Updated: Mar. 04, 2020
Since its launch, in late December 1999, approximately 750,000 Jewish young adults – more than 425,000 from the United States – have participated in Birthright’s ten-day educational programs. Numerous studies have demonstrated Birthright’s impact on the Jewish identity of its participants. Less appreciated is how the program is reshaping American Jewry’s demographic profile. When Birthright was launched, there were approximately 5.5 million Jews in the United States. Today, the US Jewish population is 7.5 million individuals, a 25% increase. Birthright is not solely responsible for the growth, but the program has become emblematic of efforts to engage future generations with Jewish life.
Updated: Feb. 06, 2020
Motivation and Social and Emotional Learning: Tips for Group-Building for Birthright Israel and Beyond
The community that is built on an immersive travel program, like Birthright Israel, can often determine the success of the experience. It is within these groups that we share experiences, create memories and meaningful friendships. It is also within this community where we deepen our connection to the Jewish people, Israel, and develop our identities. While many of us rush to these Jewish teachable moments and thoughtfully planned programs, there are antecedents to their real impact that we may often overlook.
Updated: Jan. 08, 2020
This study focuses on two groups of Birthright Israel participants: first, those from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and second, Russian-speaking Jews (RSJ) in Germany. It is part of a larger program of research designed to understand the impact of Birthright Israel (known in the FSU and Germany as Taglit) on its participants. The study draws on pre- and post-trip surveys of the summer 2017 cohort from these countries, as well as on a long-term survey of participants from Russia and Ukraine who participated in the program during 2010-14.
Updated: Nov. 07, 2019
This report assesses Birthright’s effectiveness in providing a balanced educational program to participants from diverse backgrounds. In particular, the report examines Birthright’s impact on the summer 2017 cohort’s feelings of connection to Israel, engagement with Israel, and views regarding particular Israeli policies and investigates whether the program’s impact was different for political liberals versus conservatives.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2019
The Israel Forever Foundation is a small not for profit Israel Engagement organization that develops and promotes experiential learning opportunities to celebrate and strengthen the personal connection to Israel. By cultivating a personal connection with the multi-faceted reality of Israel, the Israel Forever Foundation fosters understanding, respect, involvement and pride in Israel. Israel Forever has developed mutually beneficial relationships with organizations, communities and grassroots initiatives that share in our mission of providing Israel engagement programming and inspiration for the whole of the Jewish world.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2019
With support from the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE), we set out to collect baseline data about public school Hebrew programs. The findings from our research appear in a new report Mapping Hebrew Education in Public Schools: A Resource for Jewish Educators. In it we focus on the programs’ rationales, language learning goals, instructional approaches, curriculum, and staffing.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2019
Building on the established idea that to provide students with a full portrait of Israeli society and history, educators must introduce greater complexity into their Israel curriculum, the following paper explores three recently published graphic novels about Israel and considers how each offers opportunities for considering Israel in more nuanced ways. The paper is grounded in recent research about Israel education and empirical studies about graphic novels in education. Each of the three texts highlights aspects of Israeli society that are less frequently addressed in curriculum about Israel and therefore provide opportunities for presenting students with primary sources that directly grapple with the complexities of Israeli society.
Updated: Oct. 02, 2019
By examining response patterns to questions about Jewish attitudes, the study identified five different types of Jewish identity among the young adults who applied to go on a Birthright trip in summer 2018: Ancestry, Secular Peoplehood, Casual Religious, Connected, and Committed. After sorting applicants into groups corresponding to their Jewish identity type, the study examined the ways in which participants in the different groups were impacted by their Birthright experience.
Updated: Sep. 18, 2019