The iCenter for Israel Education has launched the inaugural cohort of the Graduate Certificate in Israel Education, a program in partnership with The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Over the next year, 24 North Americans will engage together in a rigorous study framework combining Israel studies and experiential education. Cohort members are mid-range or senior professionals working in a range of settings, from Hillels and local Federations, to schools, synagogues, summer camps, Israel travel experiences, and more.
“As we recognize the need to rethink how we educate about Israel, this academically rigorous program addresses the needs of the field and the community,” says cohort member Lisa Armony, Director of the Rose Project at Jewish Federation & Family Services in Irvine, CA. “The program allows professionals committed to Israel education the opportunity to learn from top scholars and from each other, as together, we seek to develop innovative approaches, and to experiment and get feedback from a trusted group of colleagues.”
The program was created in response to professionals’ desire to engage with Israel education at increasingly academic levels. In recent surveys of over 700 alumni of iCenter programs, 92% indicated interest in additional professional development in Israel education. This commitment for ongoing development, learning, and growth conforms to trends in the broader marketplace for advanced academic certificate programs.
Participants explore the “big” questions of education theory to develop into a new kind of Israel educator primed to meet the challenge of providing resonant Israel education head on. During a two-week on-the-ground Israel seminar, the North American cohort will create a connection with Israeli educators and colleagues.
“This program already has helped me garner a deeper understanding of the education and engagement philosophies that Hillels utilize on campuses across the country and around the world,” adds Matthew Berger, also a member of the cohort and Vice President of Communications at Hillel International. I find I am already using the lessons I’ve learned in my conversations with my colleagues and stakeholders.”