IDEAL© is a new online learning program offered by the Atlanta based Center for Israel Education (CIE; israeled.org).  Registered participants will take part in six digital classes which they will be able to view at their convenience beginning on Sunday of each week.    New sessions will be posted each subsequent Sunday. Participants can enroll and join at any time.  

As members of the inaugural cohort, students will have the unique opportunity to provide feedback about program content, format and delivery method throughout the six-week period.

Cost and Eligibility: 

Enrollment in IDEAL© will be $65 per participant.  Any teen in grades 9-12 is eligible to participate. 

Goals and Objectives:

With growing concern over the impact of the BDS movement on North American college campuses and the documented distancing from Israel among younger Jews in the Diaspora, due in part to lack of accurate knowledge about Israel, IDEAL©, will enhance the Israel literacy of teens in grades 9-12. 

Course Topics:

  • Origins of Zionism – Zionism did not evolve as a result of a civil war, the victory of one country over another, or because of anti-Semitism. Understand how it evolved from centuries of Jewish history and a newly defined communal destiny.
  • State-Making: Pathways and Obstacles to Israel – From 1882 to 1948, Jewish presence in the land of Israel grew from 20,000 to 650,000. How did Jews buy land and establish the nucleus of a Jewish state by 1939?
  • Cultural Development – Zionism needed more than political and financial solutions to actualize a Jewish home. By defining a “New Jew,” constantly redefined by waves of immigrants, Hebrew culture populated and built the growing Jewish homeland.
  • Independence and the Jewish State’s Definition – Following its establishment in May 1948, the new state of Israel faced significant economic, sociological, and security challenges. How did Israel navigate these areas?
  • State Keeping and June 1967 –Unexpectedly, the June 1967 War helped further connect Israelis to the land and protect Israel’s precarious borders. It also set in motion fifty years of Arab-Israeli negotiations that still remain unfinished. Explore the open-ended nature of the June War.
  • Contemporary Issues – Concluding topics will include the status of the US-Israel relationship, the uncertainty of geo-politics in the Middle East, Israel’s presence on North American college campuses, and domestic challenges facing Israel.

Program Structure:

Each week, beginning on Sunday at 9:00 AM, a new class will be posted for participants.  Each class will be between 20 and 30 minutes and will be accompanied by additional source material and suggested readings.  Participating students will have until the next class is posted to take the class and complete any relevant actions.  Actions will be limited to responding to a question or doing a brief reading.  A discussion board will be available for participants to ask questions of instructors or to engage in discussion with each other. 

The primary teachers will be Professor Ken Stein, Eli Sperling and Rich Walter of CIE.   

Students who successfully complete all the requirements, will be issued a certificate of completion from CIE. 

All students, whether applying as part of an assigned class or as individual learners, must complete the application form below.

For more information about IDEAL©, contact Rich Walter at [email protected]