Michla Shahar was born in Argentina and immigrated to Israel in 1973. She has worked as a teacher and an educational counselor, and for 20 years has served as a pedagogical supervisor, lecturer and Dean at Levinsky College of Teacher Education. Since 2007 she works in the International Channel of The MOFET Institute as an academic coordinator of programs and projects for Spanish-speaking communities throughout the world, among the Jewish community and the global educators' community.
Last week a fascinating webinar was held with Hebrew and Jewish Studies teachers from Mexico. The webinar took place in the framework of a two-year program, "Educator for Israel", run by the Keren Hayesod in Mexico with teachers from seven Jewish schools in the capital and directed by Meir Bonitov under the academic supervision of .
In the framework of the program, the teachers study for two years. At the end of the first year, they come to Israel for a month-long tour in order to become well acquainted with all aspects of life in Israel. The tour includes a 10-day study seminar supervised by The MOFET Institute on the topic, "Leadership and Jewish Identity". This includes a visit to educational institutions of various types. In addition, the Institute holds eight webinars on topics of interest to the teachers that are linked to their study program – four in the first year and four in the second year.
In the first webinar of the year, the lecturer, Dr. Yisrael Rabinovitz from Kaye Academic College of Education, Beer Sheva, who is also an artist, exhibited pictures (practically without any text) of ceremonies and activities whose intention was to "teach", that is, to bring youngsters closer to the topic of the Holocaust.
Dr. Rabinovitz explained and illustrated how it is possible (1) to hold non-stereotypical ceremonies, and (2) to activate the participants in an experiential manner so that their consciousness of the topic, or aspects of it, is raised. The participants, who enjoyed themselves immensely and reacted via chat throughout the entire session, described it as "an extraordinary experience".
During the rest of this academic year, three additional sessions are planned on a range of topics—"Jewish Peoplehood", "Educational Leadership", and "Teaching the Holocaust"— given by some of the best lecturers in Israeli academia.