The New Crossroads: The Nexus of Israel Studies and Israel Experiential Education
By Anne Lanski
The iCenter for Israel Education, in partnership with the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, is proud to launch a new Graduate Certificate in Israel Education. In this first-of-its kind Certificate program, cohorts of professionals will engage in serious Israel studies and integrate their learning explicitly with best practices in experiential education.
What is the impetus for this? Jewish professionals are thirsty for engaging with Israel education at increasingly academic levels. In recent surveys of over 700 alumni, 92% indicated interest in additional professional development in Israel education. This commitment for ongoing development, learning, and growth – beyond undergraduate and even graduate studies – conforms to trends in the broader marketplace for advanced academic certificate programs.
The last decade has witnessed the establishment of Israel education as a recognized dimension of North American Jewish life. Now the field of Israel Education is ready to take another leap forward – the professional development of a generation of Israel education professionals versed in academic Israel studies combined with skills in the implementation of Israel education in practice. Such professionals will combine deep Israel passion and rigorous Israel Studies – history, people, culture, and challenges – with leading-edge educational theory and practice in experiential education.
This program will include a renowned international faculty whose integrated vision and pedagogical approach represent a new direction in the creation of a professional Field of Israel Education. Participants in the program will explore the “big” questions of education theory along with shared case studies and field experiences so as to enable them to position themselves as field leaders to drive the agenda in this maturing and increasingly important field. This new Graduate Certificate program, with its potent mix of theory, practice, experience, and mentorship will create a new kind of Israel educator who is primed to meet the challenge of providing resonant Israel education head on.
The Graduate Certificate in Israel Education program is a cohort model in which students study with leading figures in Israel studies and in experiential education. This cohort framework enables collaborative and learning in an innovative student-accessible course delivery model (on-line, on-site and collaborative seminar in Israel with Israeli educators) as well as individualized mentoring. These platforms will enable: the development of an enhanced theory and practice of Israel education today; exploration of detailed case studies presented by program participants; consultations with leading communal figures in North America and Israel. This multi-dimensional program will both enhance the present and reimagine the role Israel in North American Jewish life for the coming decades.
We are especially excited about the opportunity for Israel education professionals to create an innovative connection with Israeli educational colleagues. This opportunity opens the possibilities of a new international community of Israeli and North American education professionals who share innovative practices as well as co-create an agenda, and shared components for the next decades of the Israel-World Jewry connection.
The Field of Israel Education has blossomed in the early part of the 21st century. We embrace this exciting next step by creating an accredited professional cadre to lead and shape the Field for the decades ahead.
For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Israel Education from The iCenter and the George Washington University, click here.
Anne Lanski is the CEO of The iCenter.
The Graduate Certificate in Israel Education is generously supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation.