Educators and school administrators, Jewish Agency officials and community coordinators from around Israel and from abroad came together at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem on Chanuka to mark the launching of the International School Twinning Network, which will help build bridges between schools in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. The new network website was unveiled and a joint Chanuka candle lighting ceremony was held with Jewish schools around the globe via videoconference to mark the event.
The event was opened with greetings from Natan Sharansky, Chair of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a talk on Peoplehood & Twinning by Avraham Infeld, President Emeritus of Hillel and thoughts on the vision and purpose of the School Twinning Network by Andrea Arbel, Director of the Jewish Agency Partnership Unit.
A good part of the event was devoted to interactive workshop sessions dealing with different aspects of the school twinning, such as curricula for different age groups, technological tools for twinning, twinning expectations of participating communities and brainstorming ideas for development of the twinning network.
Twinning in action was experience by all, as schools in Moscow, Switzerland and Australia lit Chanuka candles sang Chanuka songs via videoconference with their Israeli colleagues.
The Partnership2Gether International School Twinning Network leverages the Partnership2Gether platform to build bridges between schools in Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
Twinning programs ideally promote the sense of Jewish Peoplehood and shared responsibility – for pupils in Diaspora and Israel schools alike. Pupils have the chance to meet each other for dynamic conversations around issues such as Jewish Identity and Social Responsibility. Twinning programs likewise link educators for professional and personal enrichment.
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of hundreds of educators, “school twinning” has evolved as Partnership2Gether’s flagship program. Over 400 schools and informal educational institutions are presently active in twinning relationships. The program’s success stems from its ability to engage the school community as a whole (pupils, educators, parents) in promoting Jewish Peoplehood, catalyzing development of news educational programs and pedagogic methods along the way.
The grassroots school twinning program has evolved into several models of operations, with all of them focusing on Jewish values, Jewish identity, culture and heritage.
- Creation of an international network that links Jewish schools involved in twinning activity with Israeli schools.
- A pluralistic network serving a wide variety of schools: Jewish schools and public schools; schools from the different streams of Judaism; kindergarten, elementary and high schools; day schools and supplementary schools; schools from different sectors in Israel.
- The network will share best practices and lesson plans between participating schools, will offer professional accompaniment and training, and will help link peer groups within the network.
You can visit the International School Twinning Network website here.