Next week in Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute, Hula Valley and much more…..

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.

Israel from a bird eye view

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12 thoughts on “Next week in Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute, Hula Valley and much more…..

  1. I am so excited to be attending this seminar in Israel. I am the director at Temple Beth Avodah Nursery School in Newton. Each time I travel to Israel I come back inspired with ideas. It will be exciting and interesting to explore Israel with the STEM focus.

  2. I am the Director at Yal-Day-New Day Care Center, Inc. in Brighton. I have been looking forward to this amazing opportunity since September, and it is almost here! As we provide education for many Israeli students, I’m looking forward to the experience in Israel to better my connection with our Israeli families. I believe knowledge is power, and given the educational itinerary we will experience, this will empower Marceline and myself to better meet the needs of our students at Yal-Day-New. I have to go pack!

    • I am a teacher in the Parparim class at Temple Shalom Nursery School in West Newton. This is my second trip to Israel and II am very excited to reconnect with our Israeli colleagues and friends. My goal is to share these experiences with our school community, so that we can help our children to explore their world more deeply and make connections. Nature, science and the land of Israel is a winning combination.

  3. I am a teacher in the Dubim class at Gan Shelanu in Newton. I’m probably one of the only teachers in my school that has never been to Israel. I’m so excited to share some of our ideas from our school with the teachers in Haifa, and am also looking to bring some ideas back to our school. Each year we do a unit on Israel and all the information I’ve ever learned is from books. I can’t wait to actually visit all the important sites that we teach our students about.

    • Shalom. My name is Tina Golden. I have been a member of the Boston-Haifa Early Childhood Shagrirot group for the past three years. Hebrew College has provided us with a series of informative and educational classes preparing us for our trip. I am looking forward to my second Israel experience led by Rachel Raz. I am excited about our visiting the Weizmann Institute, swimming in the Dead Sea, viewing ancient Qumran, seeing schools in Haifa and bird watching in the Hula Valley. A vital part of our trip is strengthening our bonds of friendship and the sharing of educational philosophy with our Israeli partners.

  4. Shalom! It’s a pleasure to be traveling to Israel with my colleges through Hebrew College’s Early Childhood Institute, CJP, and the Boston-Haifa Connection. This is my third trip to Israel but my first with fellow educators. I am looking forward to the opportunity to use my science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) background to help students understand the basics of how Israelis are engineering technology to solve real world problems. Israel’s unique weather, geography, and micro climate zones make for an interesting exploration into the world of science and engineering. I’m planning my own experiments along our travel route to capture scientific phenomena as it occurs in connection with the land of Israel. I hope to share some of these multimedia connections through our curriculum work at KnowAtom.

  5. Shalom! Ani Kimberly. I am very excited to be traveling to Israel with an amazing group of educators. As this is my first trip to Zion, I am excited to learn about the people, culture, history, as well as the educational and technological advances practiced in this country-the land of milk and honey as we learned in our pre-trip seminars. For me, this is truly an amazing learning journey, and the culmination of six productive years working with Nancy Kriegel, CJP, and the fourteen Jewish Day Schools in The Greater Boston area. The joint mission of GFCT/CJP collaboration is to support and advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). I would like to thank Rachel Raz and Hebrew College for putting such an amazing trip together and for extending an invitation to me. In addition, and most importantly, I want to publicly thank my boss, Mark Gelfand, for his vision, expertise, and generosity of spirit that has affected the lives of so many through his founding of The Gelfand Family Charitable Trust. Israel here we come and thank you for hosting us. As Sigalit taught us; Sababa!!!!

  6. Shalom. I work at Gan Shelanu in the Koffim class – with 3 and 4 year olds. I have been to Israel many times but am so looking forward to going on this trip. I am excited about seeing Israel with other educators and learning from each other. Rachel has put together a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to get there and start touring.

  7. Shalom to all! I’m Nancy Kriegel and I am CJP’s Assistant Director for the Initiative for Day School Excllence. As Kimberly noted above, one of the projects that I have had the good fortune to work on is a collaboration between CJP and the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust supporting excellence in STEM education in Greater Boston’s Jewish Day Schools. I am so excited to have the opportunity to see and learn first-hand about the innovation in STEM education happening in Israel. I am also looking forward to learning with some of Greater Boston’s excellent Early Childhood educators and forging new and lasting relationships – that hopefully will continue after we return. It will be an amazing experience and I look forward to sharing it with each of you.

  8. Shalom! I am so excited to represent The Discovery Museums on this exciting and sure to be memorable trip. As the Director of Early Childhood Education and Parent Resources, I am eager to explore topics of formal and informal learning environments, promoting inquiry with young children, and STE(A)M education. I look forward to our busy schedule as we make the most of our time in Israel, and I look forward to bringing home everything that I have learned to share with my colleagues. Special thanks to Hebrew College for making this trip possible and putting together a fantastic itinerary!

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