Be’eri is excited to announce the launch of the new Tarbut Yisraelwebsite, which Be’eri took part in developing in partnership with the Israel Center for Educational Technology (CET), the Avi Chai Foundation, and the Posen Foundation. The website, which serves as a resource center for educational materials that strengthen pluralistic Jewish-Israeli heritage studies in the Israeli public realm, was recognized as “an enterprise for new digital environment dedicated to Jewish culture” by the British Ambassador to Israel at a special event at his residence on March 18.
This event is part of a campaign for the site led by CET to increase awareness of this new resource.
One of the key features of the site is a Be’eri initiative to engage teachers in Jewish studies topics. Every week, a Be’eri facilitator posts a short lesson on the site. These weekly posts outline concrete pedagogy and content for how to address relevant current events from a Jewish perspective. The lessons, which include references to traditional and contemporary Jewish sources, a video component, and questions for discussion, have generated hundreds of page views and have inspired a great deal of online and offline discussion.
Recent popular topics include lesson plans about the Jewish Ethiopian holiday of Sigd at the time of the holiday in the fall, an examination of Judaism’s approach to human rights in honor of International Human Rights Day, a lesson on the role of rain in Jewish culture, and guidelines to building a lesson about leadership in light of the recent Knesset elections.
The leadership post, for example, suggests beginning the lesson with a video clip that will inspire students to think about what it means to be a leader. The post includes two videos – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech outlining his reasons for calling early elections and a collection of clips from the 2009 elections featuring different political leaders, illustrating different leadership styles. The post then recommends that teachers divide their class into groups and have each group fill in the blank: “Israel needs a leader who is________.” The majority of the lesson is devoted to studying sources that address characteristics of an ideal leader. The post brings selections from Midrash Rabbah, Plato, and Hobbes, emphasizing discussion points for each source. Finally, the blog post provides teachers with questions for summarizing the discussion: What are the benefits and disadvantages of each leadership type? Is it possible to integrate different types of leadership? What characteristics will you look for in Knesset candidates?
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