Section archive - Israel Education
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Unpacked for Educators, from OpenDor Media, is a rich set of teaching tools that explores the story of Israel and the Jewish people in all its complexity, intellectual depth and sophistication. Focused on students of middle school and high school age, our goal is to untangle challenging ideas and make key historical moments come alive. Through our website, videos, weekly newsletter, webinars and educational content, we provide formal, informal and experiential Jewish educators with the resources they need to show students that Judaism is as meaningful and relevant as ever.
Updated: Jul. 09, 2020
Over the past two decades, Birthright trips have been a virtual rite of passage for young Diaspora Jews. These free, 10-day tours of Israel continued even during periods of war and terror attacks. Sometimes, out of concern for the safety of participants, parts of the country would be deemed off-limits. And sometimes, the famous Birthright buses were more empty than full. But never in its 20-year history has Birthright been forced to suspend its trips. Until the coronavirus outbreak.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2020
You can help shape the future of Zionist education and get rewarded! Do you have an idea which you believe can strengthen the Jewish identity and / or connection to the State of Israel, designed for children and youth in the diaspora? Then we have something for you! Turn your innovative vision into action by submitting a proposal on how educators in the diaspora can implement new creative methods to enhance Jewish/Israel education.
Updated: Jun. 02, 2020
One of the most noticeable elements of the Covid-19 crisis is the nearly complete shutdown of international travel. All this affected basic Jewish activities: individual travel for family events and for business is impossible, educational travel programs to Israel and other Jewish sites were discontinued and all conferences, festivals and mass-gatherings were postposed or transferred to the internet. Jewish life has been dramatically disrupted and there is a threat that some forms of Jewish institutions will not be able to recover.
Updated: May. 11, 2020
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