350 new school teachers graduated from Herzog College in June 2022 at a ceremony held at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem. They represent a broad cross-section of Israeli society and will teach a range of subjects at schools all over the country.
Welcoming them to the teaching profession, Rabbi Prof. Yehuda Brandes, President of Herzog College, said: “Education is crucially important to Israel’s economy and security, and also to societal cohesion. With the current shortage of teachers in all sectors, it is important that we attract the best hearts and minds to imbue the next generation with a strong sense of their history and identity.”
Every year, 400 men and women study for their B.Ed degrees and Israeli teaching certificates at Herzog College. They learn pedagogical skills and practice teaching in local schools, with advice from experienced mentors. An additional cohort of working teachers, who already have teaching certificates but no academic degree, also choose to study at Herzog one day each week to upgrade their qualifications and increase their earning potential.
Most of Herzog College’s new graduates are already working as teachers in Israel’s religious, traditional and secular schools, and each student qualifies with a B.Ed. in two subjects of their choice and a practical teaching certificate. The subjects taught at Herzog include natural sciences, mathematics, computers, communications, English language, Hebrew language, Hebrew literature, Israeli history, Tanakh, Jewish philosophy, Jewish (oral) law, general studies and special education.
Revital Yalow graduated with a B.Ed. in special education and Tanach, and she is now teaching at Baer School in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem. She spoke at the graduation about her background as a child of Ethiopian immigrants, and why it was important to her to become a Tanakh teacher in order to help connect Israeli children of all backgrounds to their shared cultural heritage. Another graduate, Yossef Zaafrani, spoke about Herzog College’s flexible timetable that allowed him to qualify as a teacher while continuing his Yeshiva studies, working part-time, and helping to raise his young family. Today he is a popular Hebrew teacher and class teacher at an elementary school in Mitzpe Yericho.
With Israel’s booming birth rate and expanding schools, and a steady rate of attrition among older teachers, there is a constant need to inspire and educate more teachers. Herzog College is stepping up to the challenge of training classroom heroes to inspire the next generation of Israeli children.
Photo shows Revital Yalow, recent Herzog College graduate.