19th annual CIE/ISMI
Educator Workshop on Modern Israel
June 2020

For information about the 2020 Workshop, please contact Heather Waters

 Atlanta, Georgia | June 2020
History, Culture and Politics on Modern Israel [Grades 2-12]

2017 Photos | Previous Participating Schools | EvaluationsTestimonials

Building upon the previous successes of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel (ISMI), CIE offers the CIE/ISMI Educator Enrichment Workshop on Modern Israel: a five-day opportunity for educators and educational leaders to deepen their understanding of Israel’s history, politics, economy and culture, while cultivating participants’ skills in classroom application and best practices. After collaborating with experts and peers, and honing their instructional practices, Educator Enrichment Workshop alumni are uniquely positioned to foster understanding of the significance of Zionism and the State of Israel in Jewish and world history for generations of students.

Read about how some of our past participants continue to benefit from their experience at the CIE/ISMI Educator Workshop on Modern Israel on the The AviChai Foundation Blog.

About the Workshop

The CIE one-week workshop offers a comprehensive understanding of modern Israel and provides a wide array of tools for curriculum development and teaching. Workshop sessions are designed to reflect the needs of our participants, whether adding content or providing additional teaching ideas for curriculum and lesson plan development. The workshop is led by experienced curriculum, academic, and content specialists. Sessions are conducted from Sunday at noon until Thursday afternoon at 2:00 pm. Each day is filled with content, curriculum development sessions, and time for reflecting and processing ideas culled. We anticipate that each teacher will leave the workshop with newly developed Israel curriculum materials, and encourage participants to bring previously created Israel curriculum to the workshop for assessment and possible augmentation.


Topics covered in the workshop include: the biblical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, modern Jewish history to the origins and development of modern Zionism, the growth of the Yishuv, Israeli foreign policy, development and workings of Israel’s political system, Israeli music and literature, domestic issues that confront a maturing Israel society such as civil liberties and national security, religion and society, social issues, the US-Israel relationship, Israel’s role in regional and international politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Israeli economy. Accompanying pedagogy sessions enrich a participant’s ability to take new information directly into their work.

Who Should Apply

The CIE one-week workshop is limited to 65 participants, of which 40 need to be working in Jewish day schools.  We encourage educators who have a direct impact on students to apply for the limited number of available positions. The workshop is geared for educators in day schools as well as supplemental and congregational schools, teaching 2nd through 12th grades.  Where possible, we encourage two or more teachers from one institution to apply. Previous workshop participants from day schools who apply as part of a cohort from their day school are eligible to participate in the workshop a second time. We accept applications from Jewish and non-Jewish teachers, those who do not speak Hebrew to native speakers born or educated in Israel.


Applicants must submit a completed application form along with a commitment letter from their supervisor certifying that information about Israel learned at the workshop will be incorporated into their work, according to the needs and demands of the institution. Participants are required to stay onsite for the duration of the entire workshop, from noon on Sunday to the last session on Thursday afternoon.

Application and Fees

Interested participants should apply by March 15, 2020.  Applications are accepted on a first come/first considered basis, with the exception of those applying as a cohort. Each applicant must submit a $150 application fee and is responsible for his/her own air and ground travel expenses. A special travel stipend of up to $250 is available to each participant. Submission of original travel receipts is required within ten days of the workshop’s completion for use of the special travel stipend. An additional prerequisite for receiving the travel stipend is that participants will be asked to provide a detailed summary of how they plan to implement what they have learned at the workshop in their setting. All other workshop costs, including meals, hotel accommodations, and reproduction of resource materials, will be covered by generous grants from the workshop sponsors. Kosher dietary laws are observed.

Acceptance notifications for day school applicants will begin January 15 and for all other participants on April 1.

History of One-Week Workshops

In 1998 at the request of the headmaster of the Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, I was asked to assist in the construction of a course on modern Zionism/Israel for the graduating seventh grade. Over time the one-time engagement evolved into several day workshops about modern Israel’s formation provided initially to Atlanta area and Georgia Jewish teachers. By 2003, it had expanded to include teachers from around North America. In 2000, with his typical eager enthusiasm, Paul Reisman provided our initial grant for the first Israel education workshop. The workshops were organized by the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel (ISMI) with all funding coming from private donors, including the Zedeck Family Foundation, Schusterman Foundation, Blank Family Foundation and Marcus Family Foundation. By July 2008, the Center for Israel Education (CIE) was created as a separate 501c3 entity primarily to choreograph the one-week workshops and engage in other Israel education outreach activity beyond ISMI.
In 2003, The AVI CHAI Foundation, under the distinguished leadership of Yossi Prager, approached ISMI/CIE to underwrite the funding of the workshops on the condition that half of the teachers attending the annual workshops were from day school settings. The Board of The AVI CHAI Foundation is thanked for the faith they had in our undertaking to increase Israel education. Thanks are offered to the innovative skills and collective educational guidance provided by Sally Levine, Tziona Zalkow, Abby Chill, Anna Hartman, Tal Grinfas-David and Rich Walter. Their classroom expertise was carefully blended with the incisive annual presentations by scholars from Israel and the US, which included Asher Susser, Reuven Hazan, Uri Bialer, Paul Rivlin, Michael Berger and David Menashri. I continue to anchor the modern history and international relations portions of the annual workshops. Throughout our broadening excursions into pre-collegiate and collegiate Israel education, ISMI and CIE were fortunate to have the unwavering support of the Marcus Family Foundation, and particularly its Executive Director, Jay Kaiman, and his associate, Daniel Sperling. Private donors and foundations that seek to retain their anonymity were zealous in their support of our work. These donors provided the means to travel across North America providing professional development days and congregational workshops. Through these experiences we listened to what teachers wanted and needed, which in turn helped shape portions of this website and constantly revised our annual one-week workshop.

View previous one-week workshops.

Data on day school participation at CIE one-week workshops

For more information, contact workshop coordinator Heather Waters: Click Here