Herzog College has been selected to partner with Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry in launching one of their flagship international projects. For the first time, there will be one organization liaising with Jewish schools throughout the world, creating a global Jewish education network.
At a ceremony this week, Minister for Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich signed an NIS 38 million ($12 million) agreement with Herzog College to lead the two-year project. The initiative includes a global educational and professional network that will work with experts and providers across all continents and in different languages, on matters such as the development of educational content, the training of teachers, the support of school leadership, the building of virtual platforms to share ideas and initiatives, and the provision of professional consulting services to individual schools.
The need for this initiative was recognized during the COVID pandemic, when many communities in the Diaspora were struggling to cope with the closure of schools and the transition to virtual learning, while facing a shortage of Jewish Studies teachers and high-quality curriculum resources.
The initiative will include the creation of connections between Jewish school students around the world, including virtual events to strengthen relationships and connections between Jewish children in different countries, as well as establishing frameworks for dialogue between teachers and school principals with their counterparts around the world. At the signing ceremony, Omer Yankelevich, Minister for Diaspora Affairs, said: “Until now we have been reaching just 70 schools each year, but there are 1,500 Jewish schools in the world and we want to help all of them.”
Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Brandes, President of Herzog College, says: “Herzog College is renowned in Israel for its extensive expertise in the fields of teacher training, professional development and designing innovative digital content. We are excited about this new partnership, which we believe will make a substantive contribution to the world of Jewish Education by working together with Jewish schools around the world.”
The newly appointed Pedagogical Director of the project is Rabbi Craig Kacev, former Director of the South African Board of Jewish Education. He says: “I am excited to be involved with this global project that will serve to support so many schools with innovative solutions to both common and specific needs in their pursuit to offer a high-quality Jewish Education to all of their students.”
Photo shows Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich at the signing ceremony with Herzog College representatives.