“Great is the student who translates study into action.”
AVI CHAI Israel has joined with KIAH and the Ministry of Education to launch a new initiative: The Program for Excellence in Jewish, Social, and Zionist Education, which merges two initiatives that have operated within the education system during the last decade – “Maarag” (which promotes excellence in Jewish, social, and Zionist education) and “Morasha” (which promotes a vision of Judaism with social values at its core).
The new program — currently operating in various phases of development in primary and secondary schools in both the national and national religious school systems — emphasizes the relationship between personal identity, social responsibility, and social awareness. Among our goals:
- to strengthen the connection and relevance between schools and their students;
- to encourage active citizenship and volunteerism among students;
- to empower principals and teachers to explore questions related to individual and collective identity in the context of Jewish studies,
- Israeli culture, and the Zionist ethos;
- to strengthen the relationship between the national and national-religious school streams by imparting a shared Jewish, social, and Zionist language;
- to encourage sensitivity to the cultural differences among students who embrace varying approaches to Jewish tradition, including “masorti” or tradition-oriented students;
- to develop teaching materials that emphasize the connection between Jewish social values and action;
- to challenge the thinking and opinions of teachers, students, and parents on basic issues relating to their Jewish-Israeli identity.
Trained facilitators operate within schools to provide the principal and faculty with professional development in the following key areas:
*the overall organization and integration of the school's educational program, especially as it relates to Jewish, Zionist, and social values;
*the creation of diverse methods of study and instruction, with an emphasis on beit midrash and dialogue-based frameworks;
*the development of a relevant, experience-based curriculum that also stresses the importance of action;
*the empowerment of school leadership teams, which include principals, faculty, and students.
In addition, the program provides enrichment and training sessions for principals and teachers to help them clarify their own Jewish identity, learn to accommodate the diverse backgrounds of their students, and implement a schoolwide program of Jewish education that is geared to action based on Jewish social values.
The program operates for four intensive years in each school. After that, schools can choose to continue to benefit from a less intensive program as part of the KIAH school network.
For more information: