RootOne Turns to CIE for Trip Prep

RootOne, which provides vouchers for thousands of high school students to visit Israel during the summer, is again working with CIE for educational courses that prepare teens for their trips.

Thousands of teens could take any of four specially prepared CIE courses on the following topics, chosen in collaboration with RootOne: the origins of the conflict; how the early Zionists created the state; the origins of Israeli democracy; and Israeli identity and society through popular culture.

Most of the more than 3,000 teens who have studied with CIE the past year and a half connected with us through RootOne. CIE staffers taught 28 live classes with 100 or more students at a time last year to ensure those teens had a basic grounding in aspects of Israel’s history and culture before they traveled there.

A big change this year is that RootOne learning is asynchronous, meaning that the courses are available online for teens to take at their convenience. A course should take 45 minutes to an hour to complete, says Michele Freesman-Levenson, who has developed CIE’s RootOne offerings in her role as our director of teen initiatives.

Each course includes text, video, other visual elements and interactive features. Students can’t fast-forward through the content, and they face quizzes throughout to challenge their critical thinking skills and ensure they understand the material.

“CIE was sought out as a great partner because we’re able to provide excellent content that lends itself to asynchronous learning,” Freesman-Levenson says. “Teens can engage with it on their own.”

Self-paced online learning is not new for CIE. Our free IDEAL courses on modern Israel and Israeli culture are examples available to the public.

The RootOne courses hone and expand on some IDEAL elements and offer more interactivity. Most take a more thematic rather than chronological approach. 

CIE maintains ownership of the RootOne courses and could find more ways to use them. 

Not all of the 7,000 teens expected to take RootOne trips this summer will learn with CIE. Each of the three dozen trip providers determines which courses available from CIE and several other educational organizations its participants may take. A course is worth points, and a teen must total a certain number of points to earn a trip voucher.

With the trips coming this summer, teens will be taking CIE courses throughout the spring.

CIE’s partnership with RootOne’s coordinator, the Jewish Education Project, extends beyond the teen program. CIE also is a content partner for the project’s Jewish Educator Portal. “Our objective in continuously building the CIE website is to provide the highest quality content and context on modern Israel for our youth and for all life-long long learners,” said Ken Stein, CIE Founding President.