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San Francisco, CA, March 6, 2013 – Jewish LearningWorks and the Jim Joseph Foundation today announce the launch of a new website documenting BASIS – the Israel Education Day School project. BASIS, a four year Israel Education initiative, was piloted in the Bay Area. This model of Israel education provides schools techniques and tools to integrate Israel education across a school curriculum. Schools in the BASIS project successfully aligned Israel education with the school mission and embedded it at the core of their community and culture.

The San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation provided $7 million in funding for the first BASIS initiative, which brought together 11 Bay Area Jewish Day Schools, from Sacramento to San Jose, and reached over 2000 students. These schools and their educators devoted four years to making Israel education both a formal and integral part of student learning in their own communities.

Jewish LearningWorks (formerly the San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education) led the initiative. The iCenter, a national hub supporting Israel education, partnered with Jewish LearningWorks and provided technical support. While the funded initiative is completed, the educational work and innovation continue at each school. The new website documents BASIS, its methods, achievements and lessons learned.  The site is designed as a guide for educators and others interested in advancing effective Israel education.

BASIS provides a framework that supports students, educators and the greater school community in building personal, enduring connections to Israel and the Israeli people. BASIS employs several strategies for building these connections: arts and culture, travel, twinning and more. A network of consultants, advisors and experts in specific fields work with each school to help them build an Israel Education Program that is woven into the fabric of the school. Educators acquire a deeper knowledge of Israel content and pedagogic skills. Participating schools join together to build both a local and Israeli network of Israel education professionals. BASIS methodologies allow students to engage directly with Israel and the Israeli people, which positively impacts their knowledge of, and attitudes toward, Israel.