Applicants sought for Israel educator workshop


February 8, 2019

Ken Stein, president of the Center for Israel Education, helps educators get some feet-on experience with Israel's geography.

The Center for Israel Education and Emory's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel will hold the 18th annual CIE/ISMI Educator Enrichment Workshop on Modern Israel from June 23 to 27 in Atlanta.

The highly acclaimed workshop, underwritten by the AVI CHAI Foundation, will bring together dozens of educators to deepen their understanding of Israel's history, politics, economy and culture and enhance their classroom skills. Special emphasis will be placed on sharing best practices for engaging second- to 12th-graders about modern Israel.

Alumni of the workshop become part of a national network of some 1,000 Israel educators who can foster generations of students with an appreciation of the significance of Zionism and Israel's complex yet central role in Jewish and Middle Eastern history.

"I'm just in awe of CIE and everything you offer," said two-time workshop participant Julie Schimmel from the Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. "All of the professionals and teachers are awesome. I would go every year if could."

Experienced curriculum, academic and content specialists will lead the workshop sessions, which each year evolve to meet educators' needs for sources, context, classroom activities and lesson planning.

Each of the five days will be packed with content and curriculum development while providing time for networking and reflection on the ideas and information being taught.

The topics covered will include the biblical connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel; modern Jewish history; the origins and development of modern Zionism; Israeli foreign policy; the Arab-Israeli conflict; Israel's political system; Israeli music and literature; Israel's thriving economy; the U.S.-Israel relationship; Israel's role in regional and international politics; and issues confronting a young, maturing nation, such as the balance of civil liberties and national security and the place of religion in society. Sessions on pedagogy inevitably enrich participants' ability to incorporate new information into their work.

Participants work with experienced advisers who guide them in refining existing lessons and creating new ones.

Workshop participants last year came from 13 states, the District of Columbia, three Canadian provinces and Mexico City. The past 17 years, CIE programs, including the weeklong workshop, have drawn more than 2,500 educators representing more than 400 day schools, synagogues and other organizations from North America, Israel and the United Kingdom.

"Participants broaden their personal knowledge while bolstering their professional competencies. That is a winning combination in any field of endeavor," said Professor Ken Stein, the founding director of CIE and ISMI and the originator of the Israel enrichment workshops some two decades ago.

Applications are due May 11 but are accepted on a rolling basis. Institutions are encouraged to send cohorts of two or more educators. While half the slots are reserved for Jewish day school educators, the workshop embraces teachers and staffers from Jewish organizations who work with teens and young adults. Participants need not be Jewish or speak Hebrew.

The application fee is $150. Participants cover their own travel expenses to the Atlanta conference but are eligible for a stipend of up to $250 each for those costs. Kosher meals, accommodations and a wealth of resource materials are included.

Learn more about the five-day workshop and apply to participate at For more information, contact workshop coordinator Heather Waters at

See what previous participants say about the workshop at


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