Mirowitz among six schools selected for new Israel education initiative

The Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School was one of six Jewish day schools from across North America selected for a pilot program started by the iCenter, an Israel education organization. The program, called iNfuse: Israel in Jewish Day Schools, seeks to make Israel education and experiences a more significant part of all aspects of school life, including general studies disciplines such as science or the arts, Jewish and Hebrew language studies, all-school Israel engagement and Israel travel. 

“We know that infusing Israel across a school and integrating it effectively into curricula is most successful when a school has an articulated vision for Israel education,” said iCenter Executive Director Anne Lanski in a news release. “iNfuse offers the guidance, training, and framework to help schools craft their visions and then turn them into reality.”

Representatives from most of the schools, along with their mentors will gather in Jerusalem for learning from and with each other and sharing resources. Throughout the year, the initiative includes site visits from Israel education experts and other specialists, online seminars and one-on-one mentoring. Teachers will receive ongoing support to effectively integrate Israel into their educational work. The initiative frames a school’s Israel trip as an integral component of the curriculum throughout students’ tenure at the school. A school-appointed Israel Coordinator will oversee both the initiative and support the work of faculty and staff.

Schools will closely examine four areas of learning about Israel: the classroom (general and Jewish/Hebrew studies); the physical environment; all-school and outside of the classroom Israel engagement; and the Israel trip. Schools will develop a vision for Israel learning at their school that applies across all grades and then work to implement that vision.

“Day schools have the potential to make a deep impact on Israel engagement and Jewish identity in the next generation of leaders,” said Mirowitz Head of School Cheryl Maayan. “We are thrilled to work with this cohort as we dream up how to meet this potential.”

The initiative is funded in part by The AVI CHAI Foundation as well as through matching funds raised in the schools’ communities. iNfuse is modeled after BASIS, an Israel Education Day School project in Northern California facilitated by Jewish LearningWorks with funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation.