By Rachel Raz, Director, Early Childhood Institute, Hebrew College; Director, CJP Boston Haifa Early Childhood Connection and group leader
Date: Monday, February 3rd
Shalom and welcome to the “Educational Exploration of Israel” blog. On February 9th, 2014 a group of 14 early childhood educators and STEM professionals from the Boston area will travel together to Israel. We will explore the old and the new, nature, educational settings, STEM (science, technology engineering and math) education, innovation, and much more. We will spend time with our partners in the city of Haifa, stay at their homes, and visit their schools. We will travel, learn, make art, hike, swim, float, teach, dance, sing, and explore.
Some thoughts behind the itinerary: In a radically evolving world, where science, mathematics, and technology are at the heart of that change. More than ever it is our duty to stimulate curiosity and engage children in taking an interest in their environment and the workings of nature. At the same time, it is very important to spiritually nourish and support them as they proceed on this journey. This educational exploration of Israel was designed to inspire and equip educators working with young children in preschool, day school, supplementary schools, and other educational settings. The itinerary includes a variety of topics woven together with Jewish and secular content to address today’s needs.
Please follow us though this blog as we share our daily experiences. Note that we might not have internet access each day. Feel free to share this blog with your community.
Check out some highlights from our itinerary:
•Bruchim Haba’im -Welcome to Israel! An opening program overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from the port of Old Jaffa; Welcome dinner in Tel Aviv’s Yemenite Quarter; Stroll through the weekly arts & crafts fair in the Nahalat Binyamin neighborhood, and the Carmel Market (shuk)
•Innovation Nation – Visit the multi-media, interactive visitor’s center at the Weizmann Institute; Enjoy learning about science at the Clore Science Garden.
•This Year in Jerusalem – Outlook over the Old City from the Haas Promenade; walk through the historical neighborhoods of Mishkenot Shaananim and Yemin Moshe, accompanied by the poetry of Yehuda Amichai; Enter the Old City from Jaffa Gate.Continue to the Jewish Quarter via the Armenian Quarter. See the Cardo, Broad Wall, and other sites; Descend to the Kotel Plaza; Explore the Southern Wall excavations to gain a better understanding of the centrality of the Temple in ancient times and the role of pilgrimage; and visit the Knesset Menorah.
•Dead Sea & Jordan Rift Valley – Visit ancient Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found; Float in the Dead Sea at Kalia Beach; Travel north along the Jordan River Valley to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu; take a “Bio-Tour” of this kibbutz which is leading the organic and “green” revolution in Israeli agriculture.
•Torah in the Galil – Explore the Talmudic City of Zippori, where Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi compiled the Mishnah and is the site of some of some of the most beautiful mosaics in the Middle East.
•Field Trip with Israelis- Nature education – Start the day at Oranim Academic College with Dr. Shai Shafir and Dr. Muky Gross – participate in bird banding; stroll and explore through the botanical and bio-mimicking garden; continue to Hula Valley for bird watching and witness the magnificent migration of birds through Israel.
•Israel and Art – Visit Ein-Hod Artists’ colony. Meet with Zion Gez, village managing director, Learn from artist Ziva Kainer about her artistic journey and its connection to the landscape of Israel.
•Shabbaton – Spend a restful and meaningful Shabbat at Moshav Nir- Etzion
This itinerary was developed by the Early Childhood Institute of Hebrew College with Keshet, the Center for Educational Tourism in Israel, the Boston Haifa Early Childhood Connection partners in Haifa, Oranim Academic College, and the Ein-Hod Colony. This program is partially funded by CJP Boston Haifa Early Childhood Connection.