Our Mission The CIE mission is to be a source destination for learners and educators about modern Israel. Evidence from twelve years of work in the field tells us that there is an enormous desire on the part of educators and learners of all ages to know Israel’s story. Personally and professionally, there is a passion to own and appreciate Israel’s central role in modern Jewish identity. Our comparative advantage is that we link cutting edge scholarship with gifted curriculum designers. We produce and present Israel’s complex story via innovative learning platforms: workshops, podcasts, source compilations, and timely commentary of current issues. We help others know, learn, own and transmit the critical role Israel has played in transforming modern Jewish history, the life of Jews everywhere, and its central importance to the American national interest. Awakening and spreading a paradigm change in learning about Israel are our objectives. We believe that Jews especially, should know Israel like they know the ‘Four Questions.’
Our Vision One hundred and fifty years ago, eighty percent of world Jewry lived in undemocratic states of Eastern Europe; today eighty percent of world Jewry lives either in Israel or the United States. Understanding the interwoven history of these two peoples as they preserve their inalienable right to determine and protect their own Jewish futures remains critical to the lives of modern Jewry regardless of where they reside; it remains critical for many non-Jews as well. Israel is a fundamental and enduring element in modern Jewish history. Grasping and owning Israel’s story is the vision which inspires and directs the Center for Israel Education’s work.
To understand Israel today, we must understand the context from which the state emerged. Zionism developed in the 19th century as one of several options chosen by Jews in response to the challenges of modernity. The creation of a national territory emerged from a biblical attachment to the land of Israel, a sense of peoplehood, and prolonged denial of liberty and freedom. The road to statehood in 1948 was not easy. Zionists ultimately overcame the challenges they faced while always focusing on achieving self-determination.
The struggle for statehood, and the subsequent experiences of the young nation, is a story of dedication and perseverance, success and failure, suffering and sacrifice. It is a story that can be read through a variety of disciplinary lenses, including economics, history, literature, politics, sociology, and international relations. It is a story that has meaning for Jews and non-Jews alike.
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the Center for Israel Education was founded in July 2008 as an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit and tax exempt entity operating under the direction of Dr. Kenneth W. Stein and a board of trustees. The CIE inherited the outreach work of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel’s (ISMI). ISMI continues to serve the specific academic, teaching, and enrichment needs within Emory College and within Emory University.
The CIE collects, informs, writes and disseminates material about modern Israel. We construct curriculum, assemble documents, offer curriculum for sale conduct teacher and student workshops, and engage in discussion about all aspects of modern Israel. Our target audiences include pre-collegiate, college, university, and adult learner, lay leaders, and clergy enrich their knowledge of Israel and the Middle East. Our teacher workshops have connected with more than 1800 teachers and rabbis, conducted more than two dozen workshops and touched an estimated 300,000 students. We have systematically answered the request of educators as well as students to provide crisp historical context for Israel’s place in modern Jewish history. We write analyses of contemporary events and delve into historical controversies. All of our work is based on documentary evidence provided by reputable educators and scholars. We have a curriculum corner for teachers to share ideas and lessons; we encourage those who used to teach but no longer do so to find those materials that can easily be resuscitated. Generate a collaborative educational archive with us.
The CIE website is source driven, containing large collections of documents, many with contextural introductions, not otherwise available elsewhere. Over decades, the sources have been assembled from archives, memoirs, special collections, published volumes, the news media, and historical compilations. The website also provides useful photos, powerpoints, course and tools for learning. Our CIE work is sustained by private donations and foundation grants. We encourage your engagement with the CIE, its material and its work.