The Aleph Bet of Israel Education ™

A set of core principles, approaches to content, and essential pedagogies that together constitute the building blocks for the field. 

From the Introduction:

The iCenter credo has been rooted in the beliefs of the centrality of the learner, trusting the educational process, and a commitment to both a loving and transparent Israel education. We believe that the subject of Israel is an important priority of American Jewish life and shouldn’t be left to social media. Moreover, we shouldn’t wait until the young adult years to engage with this subject.

Educating the heart and mind about Israel begins the day a child is born, and must be part of lifelong learning and experience. Israel education is as much about shaping character, personality, mind, and social connectedness as it is about “furnishing an empty room with facts.” It’s actually a part of what our tradition, thousands of years ago, asked us to love "with all your heart, soul, and might!"

Our work in Israel education is motivated by dreams, but dreams also imply great responsibilities. The Aleph Bet of Israel Education™ 2nd Edition is an updated version of our core principles. We encourage you to embrace these pages, to read them with your staff, board, and colleagues and dream about what they will mean when implemented.

-Anne Lanski

Learner-Centered “The most meaningful and enduring education occurs when the learner is the center of any educational experience.”
Jewish Tradition “At the core of almost every custom and every holiday are symbolic reminders of the Land of Israel.”
Eretz, Medina, Am Yisrael “Jewish educators must deal with a long legacy of many meanings of Israel, help explicate them in their diverse and respective contexts, and find coherence amongst them in the contemporary sphere for the young.”
Curricularizing Israel “Curriculum is a gateway rather than a rubric, an adventure rather than a sealed box.”
Modern Hebrew “Hebrew is in many ways one of the core threads of Jewish peoplehood, connecting the Jewish people through time and space.”
Arts and Culture “Arts and culture provide a reflection on the heart of a people and the pulse of a society; they surface themes and ideas that may not find expression in other ways.”
Immersive and Integrative “And you shall teach them to your children when you sit at home and when you walk on the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” -Deuteronomy 6:7-9
Diverse Narratives “Everything depends on the lenses through which we see the world. By putting on new lenses, we see things that otherwise would be invisible.” -Parker Palmer
The Israel Experience “What values underlie the Israel experience that you want to create?”
Relating and Relationships “When we prioritize `relationship` over `encounter` we are able to invite each other – learners and educators – into a shared space in which relationships can develop.”
The Educator “The moment we are in a position to affect another human being’s perspectives, we enter into the role of educator.”
Jewish Identities “Jewish identity must be understood within the realm of one’s human identity because it is invariably only one part of any individual’s existence.”