“We are very grateful for the learning and the PD that the program provides our faculty and look forward to continuing this in the next school year 2022-23.” Sinai Akiba, Los Angeles, CA

“For years we wanted to explore, educate, and employ Israel’s education in our school and never found the right partner. Until we found the CIE and specifically Tal to be a gift from heaven. The wealth of knowledge and expertise Tal brings to the table is priceless. We hope to continue the work with her in the future and to develop a cohesive and comprehensive Israel education program that not only will strengthen our community identity but will boost the school’s best practices for curriculum, teaching skills, and learning outcomes.” Briskin Temple Israel of Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

“Our work with CIE has helped our teachers to see the richness and breadth that comes with Israel education.” The Rashi School, Dedham, MA

“One member of the curriculum development team said: ‘Tal is amazing! I love learning with her. I appreciate the way she and you respect teacher time and are going slowly and thoroughly in stages to create a vision for Rashi. The concept of looking at our work through a 10,000 foot view from above really is helping me look at this project as stages that we must go through in order to develop a thoughtfully constructed curriculum for our k-8 students.’” The Rashi School, Dedham, MA

“Another member said, ‘When I wanted to teach the World Zionist Congress and I found the CIE packet for running a simulation of the entire event, I was so thrilled. Of course I tweaked it and made it my own, but to see that someone had done so much of the research for me was just amazing.’” The Rashi School, Dedham, MA

“A teacher who met with Tal about adding a layer of Israel education into their very rich social studies curriculum, which focuses primarily on ancient civilizations and then jumps to an introduction to Holocaust education, said: ‘I really feel like adding Israel in is possible. The materials Tal shared with us make a lot of sense, and I’m happy that we won’t have to sacrifice any of what we already do in order to bring in ancient and modern Israel.’” The Rashi School, Dedham, MA

“I am blessed to have been guided by Dr. David these past years. Dr. David has not only taught me an immense amount about Israel. But she challenges me to think how I will present the valuable information to my students. She is very thoughtful about how information is chosen and delivered. I think about how to teach Israel differently now than I did several years ago. She teaches not only Israel content but also pedagogy and best practices. Dr. David works day and night to help everyone succeed. She makes it clear by the way she is available, the way she helps that she is here to help, provide help, support, resources, anything – to just see each school succeed. It’s not often that you come across a professional of her caliber. I look forward to continuing to learn from Dr. David.” Pressman Academy, Los Angeles, CA

2021-2022 Day School Initiative Partner School Testimonials

From Jack Barrack Hebrew Academy:

“CIE support has increased my knowledge and confidence about teaching the history of Israel in an apolitical manner using primary sources and other materials. The theme of the challenges of Jewish Democracy has been a particular focus.  One teacher, who initially I thought would have only limited involvement, recently shared that he will be adding photos and maps from today into appropriate places in the Tanakh 7 curriculum (Shoftim, Shmuel, Melakhim), connecting ancient places and maps to today.”

“Conversations with Tal helped to shape some of the sources used in the JCH 11 From Hallel to Hip Hop.”

Rabbi SR shared “Our Director of Israel Education has been an invaluable resource in our school’s Israel education programs. Her tireless efforts to work hand in hand with students and teachers has been crucial to the success of our Israel programs. The primary and secondary sources, as well as the speakers that CIE have offered our school, have also been key to the success of our program.”

Rabbi JL shared “The source book for our 11th grade fall trimester class was invaluable for the primary source material and for the overall structure it provided. It sparked discussions about everything from “Whose land is it?” to “Why couldn’t the Arabs and the Jews come to an agreement at that early stage?” The conversations with Tal helped to reframe some of the ways in which I presented the material, especially about Israel as a place for Jewish expressions of peoplehood.”

From Denver Jewish Day School, Denver, CO:

“I know that one of my teachers has started working with Tal in her domain of science. The teacher is a veteran, nevertheless, she spoke highly about the ideas and innovations. For me as Israel programmer of the division, I was very grateful for Tal’s guidance and topic suggestions. She was full of knowledge about what is going on in Israel right now and how this will be worth teaching about. I also used CIE’s presentations that were very interesting and educational.”

From Boston CJP, Boston, MA:

“The Boston-Haifa Connection promotes strong Jewish peoplehood and identity exploration and relationship building between schools and students in Haifa and Boston. At the heart of this partnership are dedicated educators who plan and deliver meaningful content and deep experiential encounters. We truly believe in providing our educators with the best support and professional development, with authentic content and cutting edge tools to help teach and engage their students. Dr. Tal Grinfas-David and CIE have been instrumental in challenging our educators to find original and new ways to think and each contemporary Israel, regardless of the grade they teach.”

“We heard positive feedback from educators, who are considering applying the learning from CIE workshops directly in their classes.”

“We look forward to our continued partnership next year.”

From Pressman Academy, Los Angeles, CA:

“Tal’s meeting with 6th, 7th, 8th and faculty re: operation Guardian of the Walls (החומות שומר מבצע (was very impactful. Our administration received many emails from parents thanking the school for not ignoring the situation and for addressing the students’ concerns. Many of our students had been confused by social media and news reports. After meeting with Tal they shared their gratitude for being able to discuss the situation openly and get some of their questions answered.”

“Dr. David has worked with our teachers to help them plan their units whether it has been in the lower school or elementary school. She has provided them with a plethora of ideas and resources. She has taught them how to prepare for these units in the future. She has also shown them where to find resources in the future.”

“Working with Tal this year was transformative. As a teacher new to the Israel Alive class, Tal provided me with resources that supported my learning goals and also made herself available to me and to my students. Tal helped me develop a new unit that will be foundational to my curriculum next year. I am truly grateful and so excited to continue to work with her.”

“Thank you, Dr. Tal David, your help throughout this year was greatly appreciated. This year was challenging in more than one way, but with your knowledge and guidance that keeps in mind our love for Israel, we managed to teach with strength in our meaningful units.”

“You helped to navigate the situation in Israel during the last conflict with grace and balanced opinions. As a faculty member in the middle school I appreciate your workshop with the students and your ability to answer tough questions. The students and faculty benefited from your warmth, wisdom and knowledge.”

“A number of our Humanities and Judaic Studies teachers were inspired by the meeting with Tal and are excited to coordinate in preparation for next year a unit or structure which will focus on current events in Israel.”

From Sinai Akiba, Los Angeles, CA:

“The work and learning that we have been doing with Dr. Tal Grinfas-David infused incredible professional growth and enhance the Israel education curriculum. The teachers in the school look forward to their weekly or bi-weekly meeting with Dr. Grinfas-David. They work with her on forming and creating meaningful lessons that helps the students understand modern Israel and the various historical events that led to its present conflict and prosperities.”

“Dr. Grinfas-David’s sessions with the teachers fostered deep thinking and brought to the surface many aspects that focused on big ideas and essential issues and questions. Teachers were able to create with her great lessons that focused on high order thinking as well as developed the students’ research skills.”

“I am very thankful for this partnership, and I could not achieve my mission without the support and work that Dr. Grinfas-David provide our school.”

From Vancouver Talmud Torah, Vancouver, BC Canada:

“Tal is beyond amazing, her support is priceless.”

“This is what we needed, an expert in the area to ensure the education, resources and lessons we are providing to our students are engaging, have an impact and correct content!”

“Tal is someone I want to work with in the future.”

“Working with the resources Tal provided was super helpful before and after our field trip.”

“Tal has provided VTT with the expertise needed to thrive and really weave in authentic lessons on Israel. Our iSTEAM program would not have had as much success if the piece of Israel was not thoroughly thought out and Tal was incredible at providing support, even a night before a lesson!”

“The lessons and units from CIE are super helpful!”

From Head of School:

“Thank you so much for taking time to connect with our Grades 6 and 7 students. It is such an important topic for them to feel educated about. I am glad you were able to give them a basis of understanding and allow for a forum for discussion and improved understanding. You addressed the issue with great empathy and balance and I am thrilled the students now have an improved sense of the nuances that have contributed to this current conflict.

From Director of Judaics:

“Once again your approach, breadth of knowledge, passion, and ability to communicate so effectively, have touched our school community in profound ways. May our connection with the CIE and with you continue to grow in its capacity to foster Israel Education at all levels.”

From Director of Learning and Innovation:

“Our “i” for iSTEAM is definitely successful due to Dr. Tal David and her expertise. Not one meeting went by without a wholesome conversation and excitement for teaching topics linked to Israel. From weekly virtual meetings and countless emails Dr. Tal David is always ready to go and super supportive. She not only had ideas for our students but also our faculty and parents. This whole community approach is something we definitely will keep up. I am thrilled that Dr. Tal David will be working with us again next year and years to come. There are many areas she supports us with and as a school we have made huge improvements thanks to her commitment, amazing supportive demeanor and outstanding knowledge base. VTT is so fortunate!”

“We are so grateful for the weekly meetings (if not more!) and how incredibly knowledgeable, caring and supportive Dr. Tal David is with our staff. We have so many teachers excited to work with her next year, and years to come. Thank you CIE!”