CIE’s 17th annual educator workshop commencing soon

Rich Walter

On June 24, seventy Israel educators from across North America will gather in Atlanta for an intensive week of learning about Modern Israel.  Now in its seventeenth year, the Center for Israel Education (CIE) and Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel (ISMI) annual educator’s workshop focusses on sharpening participants’ personal knowledge about Israel while guiding them in the creation of educational frameworks and activities to impart their knowledge to diverse groups of learners. Participants in the program, which is funded by The Avi Chai Foundation, represent thirteen states, 3 Canadian provinces, District of Columbia, and Mexico City.  

The structure of the workshop has evolved in recent years to better address the multiple settings in which learning about Israel takes place.  This year, in addition to our participants from Jewish day and congregational schools, a cohort of five staff members from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) will be joining the workshop.  The AJC cohort, which represents four communities, including Atlanta, is focused on enriching the experience of the teens who participate in the Leaders for Tomorrow program (LFT). 

Leah Gross, AJC Atlanta’s Assistant Director of Development, and Julie Katz, AJC Atlanta’s assistant director, will be participating.  Gross shared her goals for  the workshop. “This past year was our first year instituting the Leaders for Tomorrow program in Atlanta, which is AJC’s education and advocacy program for teens, empowering young Jews to speak up for Israel and the Jewish people. The basis of the advocacy training, is teaching the history and other major aspects of Israeli society. By attending this workshop, I believe I will leave more equipped to teach about Israel and enhance these teens learning experience in the program.”

In addition to the AJC cohort, other Greater Atlanta participants include Michal Ilai, a teacher and Israel Program Coordinator at the Weber School, Rachel Jenks, an educator at Congregation Or Hadash, and Ezra Flom who will be coordinating the community’s shinshinim program.  The shinshinim program, supported by the Jewish Agency for Israel in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, will be bringing eight young Israelis to the community next fall where they will share their love and passion for Israel in a wide variety of educational settings.  Flom wanted to participate in the workshop, “to learn more about Israel’s history and society so that I can best guide our shinshinim in their work as they help to create deep, long lasting relationships between Israelis and Atlantans.”

Also new for this year is that we will be live streaming several sessions on our Facebook page throughout the week.  Members of the community are invited to join us, online for these sessions.  A schedule of the live stream is available on our website.  For more information about the CIE/ISMI summer workshop, including additional options for local participation, contact Rich Walter at