The School for Israeli Culture at the Shalom Hartman Institute was launched in partnership with Keren Karev
in October 2010. Currently instructing over 80 educators in three dedicated tracks, graduates of the School will now be certified as Tarbut Yisrael (Jewish heritage) teachers by the Ministry of Education.
The tracks include a basic teachers’ track, an advanced teachers’ track, and a track for principals. Hundreds more educators are participating in a range of seminars and courses offered by the School.
Drawing on 15 years of experience in educator training, the School for Israeli Culture spearheads innovative, new pedagogic methods for providing educators with in-depth knowledge in various Tarbut Yisrael disciplines (oral law, Jewish philosophy, and bible). The School familiarizes them with the Be’eri Tarbut Yisrael curricula, innovative pedagogic tools, and disciplinary and interdisciplinary educational methodologies that assist them in teaching these curricula. More than just a place of learning, the School has become an environment in which pluralistic and democratic Jewish-Israeli identity discourse among Tarbut Yisrael educators is being developed. This discourse in turn serves to inspire teaching faculties in schools to promote educational agendas that focus on Jewish identity education.
Most of the 31 teachers currently studying in the basic track for teachers, which provides junior high and high school teachers in secular public schools with the tools required to become Tarbut Yisrael instructors, are educators trained in the humanities disciplines who have chosen to become Tarbut Yisrael instructors or to expand their knowledge in this field.
The 25 teachers in the advanced track hold Jewish studies degrees and have significant teaching experience in these fields. These teachers are interested in professional development and in acquiring additional knowledge, tools, and approaches to instruction. The School curriculum includes special activities such as field trips and the support of unique teacher initiatives in the advanced track.
The high school principals’ track expands the Tarbut Yisrael knowledge of school principals, equipping them to play a leading role in the process of strengthening pluralistic, Jewish values and identity among the teachers and students in their schools. The goal of this track is to develop and preserve the commitment of school principals to Tarbut Yisrael, transforming this discipline into a defining axis in secular public schools.
The principals’ track consists of two cohorts, one of which is comprised of School alumni. This committed group of principals who study at the Institute once a week serve as partners in the discourse and activity of the Be’eri School for Teacher Education principal track. mt. 65% of the schools whose principals participate in these programs also sendteachers to train at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
Just a few of the positive notes we have received from School participants:
"An amazing learning experience. It has already given me a great deal of practical and theoretical knowledge. The insights are clear and well-organized. I don’t remember ever being in a study environment with conditions that are so conducive to learning. Well done and thank you." – Dafna Bar-Tur, Zichron Yaakov
"For the first time, I feel that the management of my school is supporting me and is committed to me being here. As they say: Hartman empowers us, it opens doors. I don’t know of any experience like it." – Rahel Bar-Gal, RishonLetzion
The staff at the School likewise has high praise, expressing a high level of satisfaction with the quality of the participants and with the learning environment.“I have a feeling that the participants really want to do something with what they learn here. To teach, to lead, to accomplish,” says Be’eri facilitator Amit Alon, who teaches a course on Jewish philosophy.