Highly esteemed by teachers, the CIE/ISMI workshops have engaged more than 2,300 pre-collegiate teachers, reaching more than 370,000 Jewish students.

2018 ONE-WEEK WORKSHOP APPLICATION FORM

This conference provided me with the unique opportunity to study about Israel with other Israel educators, with the goal of improving our pedagogy.  I was delighted to learn with professors from Emory, the Hebrew University, and other institutions of higher education to enhance my understanding Israel’s history, politics, and culture.  Of equal importance were the breakout sessions in which I explored with other educators about how best to teach serious and difficult topics, such as settlements, the Six Day War and its aftermath, and the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration. Heidi S., Yachad MN, Minneapolis, MN
(2017)

CIE 2017 was marvelous! It was an extremely well organized, well thought-out seminar that really a) opened up my eyes to great materials they offer b) offered a plethora of different networking opportunities and chances to build relationships and c) really validated a lot of the teaching methods I was already using, helping me to feel a lot more confident about the work I am doing and goals I have set myself as a teacher and for my students and school.  Jamie Z., Yavneh Day School, Los Gatos, CA (2017)

I do not want to waste this opportunity to thank you for everything you did for us but especially for everything I learned; believe me it will help me a lot for the training of young Jews in the Diaspora. You are making a very valuable work for the Jewish people. Thank you very much and hope we are in contact. Kol Hakavod! Sofia J. – Colegio Sefaradi, Mexico City. (2017)

[The workshop featured] high level information clearly presented by very knowledgeable teachers with a diversity of topics related to modern Israel and an introduction to innovative and creative educational techniques. Erica A., Krieger Schechter Day School, Baltimore, MD (2017)

What an amazing conference. I was very pleased with the hands on pedagogy and curricular pieces as well as the breakout sessions offered. Sam R., Congregation Agudas Achim, Austin, TX (2017)

This is truly a transformative experience. [Now], my immediate goal is to develop a values based curriculum to use with my middle school class that can serve both Israel curriculum and my social justice track. I also want to assist the education director in teacher training and the whole school in teaching Israel curriculum through the grades. Sara K., Temple Emanuel, Greensboro, NC (2017)

As both a day school teacher and an outreach program educator, I want to thank you for this amazing experience.  Your workshop, keynotes, and informal chatter were of an incredible value for me. Personally I want to thank you for exposing me to such a wide variety of educators about Israel, which whom I have forged deep friendships and incredible professional contacts, and is all thanks to you. This week has inspired me to strengthen the Israel curriculum at the school, incorporating the new and innovative practices to inspire and engage my students. I will keep you posted about how we are building this stronger Israel curriculum across Mexican and Panamanian schools, but for now, let me just say thank you.  Luis L., Atid School, Mexico City (2017)

Thank you is not enough to convey what I received from this workshop. The presenters were not only knowledgeable, but personable and funny. The material was very well organized, and put together in a ready to use format for the classroom. It wasn’t just a lot of you should do this, but it was how you put [the material] into action in front of our eyes. I learned so much, and made such amazing connections.  I will use so much of the material from this workshop in the classroom, specifically for the Israel Advocacy Class that I will prep over the summer and present next school year.  Not only will I use the First Zionist Congress recreation, but even adapt it to use with UN Resolution vote 181 in recreation.  It makes the material memorable and meaningful. Sharon E., Frankel Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit, West Bloomfield Township, MI (2017)

I want to thank you for allowing me to attend your amazing workshop in Atlanta. All I can say is wow! I have learned so much and your program was incredible in its depth and its scope. I just wish there was more. The great thing is we have made so many contacts with you and the other members of your program and have also made invaluable contacts with the other participants in the workshop. Ari D., DeToledo High School, West Hills, CA (2017)

I am glad to have been invited to participate in this workshop.  I consider it not only part of my learning as an instructor in a Religious School, but a valuable part of my overall Rabbinical education. Craig M., Temple Beth Sholom, Melbourne, FL (2017)

The information given was excellent! I am looking forward to incorporating what you have available in my school, and looking forward to spend more time delving in to the materials. Yaffa B., Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Virginia Beach, VA (2017)

This is my second year attending the workshop and once again I´m impressed and overwhelmed by the extraordinary lectures and the captivating activities which made the learning so much more meaningful. Thanks to the presenters who not only shared their knowledge but also provided us with all the teaching material and modeling we could need.  This year I´ll be teaching 12th grade and training new teachers. I will include as a necessary element, the use of primary sources as well as document analysis. Thank you for integrating Mexico! Your skills and proficiency will now be reflected in our classrooms.  Tamar M, –Colegio Sefaradi, Mexico City. (2017)


This has been a most amazing week! I am in awe of the knowledge of the presenters. There is infinite facts and information to pass to the teachers. My hope is that we can inform many and get the facts out and help grow the concern and care for Israel. Sharone, Y, San Diego Jewish Academy (2016)

As both a day school educator and a congregational school educator- I want to thank you.  Your workshop and presentations have inspired me to meet with the other teachers to find ways to strengthen our Israel curriculum and incorporate best teaching practices, despite the time restraints we often feel. The work to be done in congregational school is so important and needed. I will be in touch again with my plans, but I just wanted to thank you all for the rewarding experience. Alyson P, Temple Isaiah/The Jewish Academy Long Island, NY (2016)

The workshop on Israel was one of the best workshops that I have ever attended.  As a Judaic studies coordinator I already sat down with one of my teachers to revamp the whole part of our high school Jewish history curriculum dealing with the creation of the State by implementing some of the ideas learned in this workshop into our classes.  Anat T.  Bialik High School, Montreal (2016)

I was in awe to see and feel the passion and love to Israel from every presenter; they were all professional, knowledgeable and passionate about educating us about Israel.  It was well organized and the materials provided were extremely helpful. As an Israeli I fell so proud to be among wonderful people who truly care about our state.  It made me miss my homeland even more than ever. Thank you for an amazing week! Shira S., San Diego Jewish Academy (2016)

I feel far more knowledgeable about Israel now than I did Sunday morning before I walked in to the hotel.  I am really impressed with the vast amount of knowledge that you were able to communicate in a short amount of time. I especially, liked the programs when we did an activity in order to learn the subject matter.  It reminded me of how much better I learn things in that format and that I should be using it more in my classroom as well.  I’m also really thankful to have some new thoughts about how I can create activities that will do just that for my students. Erica S., Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, GA (2016)

The experts in Israel affairs who taught us were extraordinary. I am blessed to be among the eleven educators who will receive a Certificate in Israel Education after developing and implementing an original Israel curriculum in my religious school. It was rare and special to have respected educators comment (and compliment) my thoughtful work. Judith J, Shomrei Torah, River Edge, NJ (2016)

Thanks for the amazing week! I have learned so much (and also become aware of how much I have to learn—but that’s not a bad thing!) I am sending two documents. You gave us the tools and information we need to teach Israel in a way that connects our students to the complex but also powerful history of Israel.  Information rather than an ideological stance allows us to help our students understand Israel in a far less simplistic way that honors their different and points of view. I can [now] create much more engaging and creative Israel lessons that are less textbook-based and more source-based.” Julianne M., Hillel Community Day School, Rochester, NY (2015)

“[The workshop was strengthened by] having speakers from the ‘front lines’ with significant depth of knowledge for clear, comprehensive, well-delivered presentations.” Anne H., Congregation Agudath Achim, Taunton, MA (2015)

“Learning about Israel in-depth with so many wonderful educators [increased my] personal understanding as well as professional understanding. Everyone who teaches about Israel would benefit from this level of learning.” Judy V., Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Tampa, FL (2015)

“When you go back [home] and have accurate information from people that live this day to day, it gives us confidence to pass it on to our students, directors and communities. It strengthens [our] connection to Israel and builds a strong Jewish identity.” Mira D., Barry Ira Graff School for Living Judaism, Boca Raton, FL (2015)

“I really experienced an ‘eye-opening’ moment learning the strategic land buying by Zionists and how the evolution of pop culture in music mirrors social changes in Israeli society.” Edna K., Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle, WA (2015)

“[The workshop] challenged our own preconceived notions, filled in gaps in our own education, and provided us with a framework for teaching various aspects of Israel’s history and current situation.” Marcia L., Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Atlanta, GA (2015)

I would like to commend you and the entire CIE for a great conference. I had high expectations coming in, and I want you to know you surpassed all of them. I am looking forward to you sharing your knowledge and passion with the teachers in my community in October. Jon K., Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, Cherry Hill, NJ (2015)

“I thought this would be a boring convention considering history and politics were my most boring classes in high school and college. You and your staff proved me wrong that history and politics do not have to be boring.” Rochell W., Congregation Tifereth Israel, Samuel M. Melton Religious School, Columbus, OH (2015)

“I thought the museum trip added a lot of good modeling/pedagogy by displaying great use of personal stories/drama in teaching, [and showed] the benefits of recreating a setting and good use of artifacts in telling a story.” Steve K., Educational Consulting, Rockville, MD  (2015)

“The [sessions] are academic in nature, professional in process and model good education. One leaves with a great base of knowledge and a treasure chest of resources, throughout the notebook, woven through the seminar materials.” Diana D., Columbus Torah Academy, Columbus, OH (2015)

“[The workshop] presents information about modern Israel that is not part of general knowledge and our children need to learn the facts. Teachers learn not only the information but methods of presenting it to the children. Teachers learn how to present the information and encourage children to analyze and reach conclusions.” Anne D., Congregation Beth Shalom Religious School, Clearwater, FL (2015)

“Many, many thanks for all of the deep thought, extensive planning, great care and attention to detail… fabulous conference.” Linda S., Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago, Northbrook, IL (2015)

“This conference helped me become a more knowledgeable and consequently a more effective educator. Ken helped set the tone in it by being very approachable. The topics were provocative, tactile and engaging. The new and innovative ideas and thoughts help us be relevant, relatable and teach us how to connect the dots and more importantly tach our students how to connect their own dots to Israel. Critical Thinking is ….Critical! [It] helped me gain confidence to teach children and young adults about a topic that I was hesitant to really engage since I was not ‘Israeli.’ I was only teaching historical Israel and now will teach modern Israel with strength, confidence and conviction.” Rachel S., Chattanooga Jewish Congregational Religious School, Chattanooga, TN  (2015)

“[The workshop gave us] the knowledge and skills to help understand the centrality of Israel to our kids and how to inject that knowledge and passion to our students.” Allan D, Community Day School, Pittsburgh, PA (2014)

“The presenters were excellent. The variety of subjects and methods were well executed.” Sharon W, Meyer Academy, W. Palm Beach, FL (2014)

“[I appreciated the] speakers’ clarity, information, [and] enthusiasm. [The] topics were diverse but relevant. [The workshop gave a] positive perspective on all aspects of modern Israel.” Cyndi K, The Jewish Center of Princeton, Princeton, NJ (2014)

“[The] richness of the resources offered, great teaching [and] modeling [gave us the knowledge necessary to teach Israel.]” Arlyne U, Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun, Erdenheim, PA (2014)

“The amount of content, background knowledge and resources [received will help us fill the] severe lack of Israel education in [our] supplementary Jewish schools [and enriched] Israel knowledge on the teachers’ parts.” Dana D, Barry Ira Graph School of Living Judaism, Boca Raton, FL (2014)

“[CIE has] all the facts to teach [and] knows how to convey the information.” Mickey K, Temple Beth David, Snellville, GA (2014)

“[The] incredibly gifted presenters [gave us] strong [and] bountiful information [to confidently teach Israel.] [The conference was] well put-together, well thought-out, [and] meaty!” Paul B, Sinai Akiba Academy, Los Angeles, CA (2014)

“Feeling invested in the narrative of Israel and help to demonstrating responsibility for Israel’s future is an essential part of a Jewish identity. The presenters [filled] the gaps that [we] have in  [our] knowledge [of how to educate others] about Israel.” Ilana D, Pauline Rivkind Talmud Torah, St. Petersburg, FL (2014)

“The workshop was very informative, the presenters were excellent, and the information was relevant.” Dr. Ella L, Bet Shira, Miami, FL (2014)

“Israel should be integrated into the entire school curriculum. With knowledge and tools which this workshop provides, the teachers could readily have Israel as part of any curriculum/lesson that is being taught.” Linda G, Beth El Synagogue (and Adath Israel), East Windsor, NJ (2014)

“[The conference offered] academic, thoughtful, and well-organized content on how to teach Israel effectively.” Ur B, West End Synagogue, Nashville, TN (2014)

“Until you really know the background you don’t realize how important it is to sustain the future of Judaism. [I appreciated] the enthusiasm and knowledge of the presenters. The conference was well organized. Thank you for an informative and thought provoking week.” Sandra Z, Congregation Beth Judea Religious School, Long Grove, IL (2014)

“[The workshop] gave background knowledge of Israel’s development before Herzl. I didn’t know much about this. I appreciated the variety of expert speakers on the history, politics, and culture of Israel. [The] break out sessions were awesome!” Tammy S, Congregation Beth Judea Religious School, Long Grove, IL (2014)

“This has been such an amazing and inspiring week! Thank you for all the hard work, passion, and energy you all brought to the week.” Ilan W, Meyer Academy, W. Palm Beach, FL (2014)

“All of us who teach Jewish children, who strive to keep our students connected, who work to impress a sense of peoplehood and Am Yisrael on these secular kids, need to be able to weave Israel into the instruction. [The] incredibly gifted presenters [gave us the] strong [and] bountiful information [to do this.]” Marcia W, Temple Beit Hayam Religious School, Stuart, FL (2014)

“I will share all of my materials [received] with the Judaic studies faculty in my school who would truly benefit from this conference.The lesson plans were well-developed and the knowledgeable speakers provided worthwhile ideas to bring to the classroom.” (2014)

“This week’s workshop filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge of Israeli history that I believe would benefit others as well.” Ellen H, The Epstein School, Sandy Springs, GA (2014)

[The workshop gave us] renewed strength and inspiration to teach Israel, even for those without a strong background.” Deborah E, Pressman Academy, Los Angeles, CA (2014)

“The comprehensive curriculum, the quality of the instruction, and the combination of lectures on important topics and practical advice regarding how to use it in the classroom [were outstanding]. If we are not educated about it, how can we teach our students? Having passion for Israel alone is not enough without knowledge to support it.” Lori S, Temple Beth Tikvah Religious School, Roswell, GA (2014)

“[The] full knowledge [of the speakers] educated me so I can [now] educate others. [I could] see [the] passion of [the] other [teachers from] all over [the] country. [After hearing] many aspects of [teaching my passion and] energy [to teach Israel] grows.” Mara B, Ohef Sholom Temple, Norfolk, VA (2014)

“[I received] practical materials and ideas to take to class. I appreciated be taught and reminded of] the history of Israel. [It was refreshing to hear] other peoples’ view points, struggles and ideas.” Marcelle K, Sinai Akiba Academy, Los Angeles, CA (2014)

“I felt connected to Israel before, but knowledge, understanding and wisdom elevates and clarifies my purpose as a Jew, Educator, and American.”
Monica A, Shalom Torah Academy, Morganville, NJ (2013)

“Every Jewish educator should know about Israel and should be knowledgeable about Israel in order to be able to integrate Israel into different subjects. Israel MUST be part of Jewish education.” Ophira M, Meyer Kranzberg Learning Center of Congregation B’nai Amoona, Creve Coeur, MO (2013)

“Israel exists in modern society beyond biblical terms and should be taught as such. Teaching modern Israel should be taught as an integral part of our Jewish identity.” Rhonda P, Temple Beth Tikvah Religious School, Roswell, GA (2013)

“The lectures and written materials were of the highest caliber and they greatly enriched my ability to prepare my teachers for Israel education in their classrooms. In addition, we were treated with a great deal of respect with the wonderful accommodations and thoughtful logistics. I am a long-time Jewish educator, and found this program to re-invigorate my passion for teaching Israel. Thank you so much for your commitment in this area.” Harriet W,  Principal, Ohr Shalom Religious School, San Diego, CA (2013)

“The Center for Israel Education/ISMI supported by the Avi Chai Foundation conducted a marvelous workshop under the leadership of Dr. Ken Stein. This was truly an “experience” to be remembered.  The seminars were by top professors from the States and Israel. The information was presented by learned historians from the “inner circle” of Israeli politics.  We got the latest “scoop” on the political winds sweeping Israeli society today. We studied ancient to modern Israeli history and culture.  We got hands-on lesson planning, from a water-preservation project to a simulation of the First Zionist Congress.” Ruth K, Temple Israel, West Bloomfield, MI (2013)

“Tal’s session with articles on Israeli civil rights was a highlight. Reuven Hazan’s explanation of the political system was the finest and clearest I [have] ever experienced and is integral to understanding the state. Roni Eshel’s depiction of Jerusalem contributed to understanding what is happening there.” Melinda R, Olam Tikvah Synagogue Fairfax, VA (2013)

“As an educator for a lot of years, the level of learning here is so extraordinary that there are not many conferences that you can go to, if you’ve been a Jewish educator a long time, and have this level of learning, personally and professionally.” Sandra B, Orangetown Jewish Center, Orangeburg, NY (2013)

“Being an administrator and teacher, I’ve been to a lot of conferences like this, and this is the top level. I felt like I was back in Rabbinical school or University learning from the highest level teachers.” Ellen N,  Congregation Or Hadash, Sandy Springs, GA (2013)

“Before this conference I was just interested in Israel, now I’m excited about Israel.” Kevin P, Temple Israel of Brevard, Viera, FL (2013)

“I thought the speakers yesterday were absolutely astronomical – Dr. Stein, Dr. Berger—I thought they were both amazing. They were thorough, their delivery and presentation were extremely well done, they spoke extemporaneous, yet at the same time, extremely thoughtful and their content was very well delivered.” Joan N, Temple Israel, NH (2013)

“[The workshop provided] teachers with deeper and comprehensive understandings of Israel since its establishment and its current complexity…. great Presenters, well organized and planned, rich material, engaging sessions, excellent lectures.. provided materials for all ages.” Irit E, – Judaic Studies Director, Sinai Akiva Academy, Los Angeles, CA (2013)

“A reputation precedes me; as an Israeli, I know it all. I thought I always had “enough” information in my basic education to be an effective teacher when explaining the history of the Jewish people and the creation of the state of Israel. Well, the week in Atlanta proved how wrong I am; teaching me more than I had known in a manner that kept me intrigued and engaged all week.” Dov K. North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL (2012)

“Professionally, it filled in holes, gaps that I had in my knowledge/education about Israel. I found out my knowledge was kind of weak. I learned a lot. It helps me understand my family/friends that live there, the political situation, helps me make a more informed assessment of what’s going on.” Leora H. Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, Lincolnshire, IL (2012)

“Professionally it has reminded me that the passion of the presenter and the commitment of the presenter are crucial. I feel inspired to go back to my own staff and raise the level of their passion. Every detail of what we give to our staff—I want to be a better educator to both my students and staff.” Anne L. Temple Jeremiah, Northfield, IL (2012)

“This week has filled in so many holes in my knowledge and given me background to fill in the holes in my passion personally and professionally.” Joan F. Temple Beth Emet, Cooper City, FL (2012)

“I gained more confidence in my knowledge about Israel as well as in my pedagogic skills.” Susan C. Mosad Shalom Religious School- Temple Adat Shalom, San Diego, CA (2012)

“It has been an enriching week on all levels, both academically and on a practical level. It enriched me a lot due to the fact that I wasn’t born in Israel so I didn’t have a chance to be confronted with this knowledge or internalize it while I lived in Romania. It made me richer. I had an opportunity to meet personally with so many American Jews who are so involved in the education of American Jews. The United States helps Israel was always on a very abstract level and now I feel blessed to be able to meet all of these people and be able to work with you for a whole week.” Miriam G. Leo Baeck Day School, Toronto, Ontario (2012)

“The focus on essential understandings has enabled me to give more thematic shape to my lessons. Personally, it was such a wonderful/energizing thing to be around so many people who are so committed and care so deeply about conveying Israel’s message in such an enthusiastic way.” Ann N. Gesher Jewish Day School, Fairfax, VA (2012)

“I just feel really fortunate to have been able to participate. The presenters crystallized so many things for me that was so unclear before. The energy was just incredible. The way the program was run was incredible; it took away our worries of having to copy because we had all the materials. Attention to detail too. Giving out source material was brilliant.” Barbara W. Temple Adath Israel, Philadelphia, PA (2012)

“The wealth of resources that are brought to use. It identified for me the issues/directions/points that I could aim at.” Jerry L. Temple Jeremiah, Northfield, IL (2012)

“It’s a subject I’ve been teaching and now after this seminar I feel like I don’t have to walk on eggshells.” Bryan K. Adelson Educational Campus, Las Vegas, NV (2012)

“Personally, I am seeing Israel through new eyes with a clarity and understanding I never had. I am so inspired I cannot wait to get back to school to start teaching. I’ve already spoken to the director of the school to let me teach more.” Ellen P. Princeton Jewish Center, Princeton, NJ (2012)

“This is my very first study of Israel and I appreciated all of the sharing I got to do here. This week highlighted the difference between public and private school. It has made me feel that I can be a part of Jewish/Israel education and not just be a separate entity in my school but be part of the curriculum.” Gail S. The Epstein School, Atlanta, GA (2012)

“Workshop was able to offer something for everyone came away with something that was very valuable.” Jeremy S. Milken Community High School, Los Angeles, CA (2012)

“I think you did remarkable job in hitting all of us. There was an intellectual connection but also an emotional connection through music, literature, movies.” Lauren E. Adelson Educational Campus, Las Vegas, NV (2012)

“I enjoyed learning so much and I love the way that Tal took all the info and made it so accessible and showed us ways to make it accessible to students in a fun/engaging way. I feel very proud to be part of the Jewish people and feel that our future is in really good hands.” Merav A. Brandeis Hillel Day School, San Rafael, CA (2012)

I have 15,017 words of new info in my notes. I feel like a sponge filled with water and water’s coming out and I can’t wait to share my nourishment with my students.” Lisa B. Rodef Shalom, San Rafael, CA (2012)

“very impressed with such a high caliber of presenters. You delivered it in a way that was understandable, in a way that we could take that info and share it with colleagues and students. I thank you for that. I appreciate hearing different viewpoints and expanding my knowledge.” Joyce B. Temple Etz Chaim, Thousand Oaks, CA (2012)

“Given me the confidence and knowledge to participate in conversations about Israel. [….] It reminded me why I’m still a Zionist.” Felicity S. Heschel Day School, Los Angeles, CA (2012)

“Highlighted the numerous and vast access points in which we as educators can make Israel come alive for all of the disciplines. It’s allowing my students to see Israeli history through these various points. As a history teacher, it reignited the desire and the necessity to utilize primary source material and to always go back to the primary sources no matter what the ages of the kids are. It continued a re-education of my Israeli history knowledge and filled in a lot of the gaps about Zionism [history]. I’m now able to infuse that into a history class that I teach.” Ira G. Rodeph Shalom School, New York City, New York (2012)

“This workshop was pure pleasure and greatly appreciated. The staff is professional, excellent, with a really pure agenda. In addition to the primary staff, having Ken’s students and Max added an element of joy and warmth that is not often found in these settings. I truly appreciate that the talks were kept from turning into personal opinion sessions and political debate and that Tal kept the pedagogy sessions from turning into complaint sessions. I’d love to attend follow up workshops that continue what we learned this week, and continue to build from lesson planning to multi-lesson planning. Linda P. The Epstein School, Atlanta, GA (2011)

“Thank you, thank you, thank you: for the outstanding, incredible scholarship; the (nearly) unending resources; the lessons and materials ready to go home and use; information and stimulation desperately wanted and needed; the extra 5 pounds! This was amazing – not enough superlatives in my vocabulary to suffice- thank you!” Judy J. B’nai Torah, Highland Park, IL (2011)

“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for giving us this incredible gift of knowledge.” Shoshana K. Raymond Religious School, St. Petersburg, FL (2011)

“This has been an amazing experience for me! I not only learned so much personally, but I also feel 100% more capable of doing a proper job of sharing Israel’s modern history with my students and colleagues! Thank you for this opportunity to enrich my knowledge and that of my students!” Karen W. The Epstein School, Atlanta, GA (2011)

“Nowhere else can you get the unvarnished, honest and timely truth about Israel without going there.” Jackie R. Chattanooga Jewish Congregational Religious School, Chattanooga, TN (2011)

“Brilliant, prepared and varied guest speakers; extraordinary array and availability of exceptional resources and materials; organization of the week– which spared no opportunity to treat teachers wonderfully– no stone went unturned as far as excellence went.” Barbara R. The Weber School, Atlanta GA (2011)

“Each teacher interacts with many students. The 60 teachers here will return and impact several thousand students. By educating teachers we give our schools a rich understanding of Israel and help prepare them to be knowledgeable and aware young Jews.” Shelley F. Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School, St. Louis Park, MN (2011)

“Toda Rabah. Thank you—I have become more informed on Modern Israel. We need more teachers to attend these workshops. Learning from historians is the only way to learn the truth of our people!” Carol A. Temple Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL (2011)

“Thank you for the best educators’ workshop I have ever attended. The organization and thought that went into the conference is greatly appreciated.” Lori R. Temple Emanu-El Kurn Religious School, Tuscon, AZ (2011)

“Brilliant speakers, wonderful content in depth, excellent training in methodology.” Rabbi Morris B. Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island, Glen Cove, NY (2011)

“Thank you very much for your generosity in all aspects of this conference. It’s another example of Jews helping Jews in an unstinting manner. I am awed, humbled, delighted.” Marilyn O. Port Jewish Center Hebrew School, Port Washington, NY (2011)

“I feel like I’ve received so much that at this point, I don’t know what more I want.” Barbara B. Congregation Beth David, Saratoga, CA (2011)

“Every teacher can benefit from the content, thoughts, connection to Israel and lectures, no matter their background.” Ilan P. Midrash Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (2011)

“Brilliant teachers! The highest level. I loved the historic knowledge presented and also the practical teaching lessons… We need the whole school on board for a good Israel education program. I will encourage the rest of the Jewish studies faculty to attend next year.” Gail T. Tehiyah Day School, El Cerrito, CA (2011)

“I did not stop talking about your workshop since I came home. It was a wonderful experience for me.  The knowledge that you and other speakers shared with us is invaluable. The organization, the meals, the personal care, the smiles, made it all feel like home.  In addition, the teachers who were there to share their experiences and points of view added even more to the stimulating environment.” Adi S. Oakland Hebrew Day School, Piedmont, CA (2011)

“When you inspire one teacher you inspire generations. What you brought to me will be spoken for years to come.” Marilyn A. Temple Beth Shalom, Mahopac, NY (2010)

“Thank you so much for the amazing workshop. No Amount of money could have purchased these experiences.” Daniel B. Congregation Beth Tikvah, Hewlett Bay Park, NY (2010)

“They say that knowledge is power. I feel so empowered about the Land of Israel.” Ellis R. Jewish Day School of Lehigh Valley, Allentown, PA (2010)

“Fabulous workshop. I am re-energized and focused– ready to bring the love of Israel to my school in a new way.” Jennifer D. Solomon Schechter Day School of Westchester, Hartsdale, NY (2010)

“It was a privilege being taught by “the best in the field.” As a veteran teacher and winner of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt award for excellence in teaching, I was not expecting to learn as much as I did from the pedagogic sessions, which only goes to show there is always something new to learn! I am…looking forward to going back to school to share my experience and the wealth of resources with my colleagues.” Eleanor B. King David High School, Vancouver, BC (2008)

“[The] lectures on pedagogy, culture, and so much more have left me inspired, excited, and so eager to get back into the classroom and put all of this into practice. I will be spending most of my summer creating curriculum for my 6th and 8th graders, and if they are ¼ as excited as I am, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.” Ilona S. Giedoen Hausner Jewish Day School, Palo Alto, CA (2008)

“The caliber of the speakers was outstanding and helped raised Jewish education to great heights and potential. As serious educators, having such an exceptional encounter allowed us all to leave Emory with the professional respect that we all seek…as an Israeli, prior to coming, I was wondering how much such a conference would benefit me. My sense of curiosity overruled and I decided to attend. I was so pleased to find out that each lecture and each speaker had so much to offer, beyond anything that I would have imagined.” Tamara R. Temple Beth El-Mekor Chayim, Cranford, NJ (2008)

“The materials the workshop instructors have come up with is the highlight of the conference. These are teachers’ teachers…Unlike a lot of conferences, I’m coming home with a suitcase full of ideas!” Rina W. B’nai Shalom Day School, Greensboro, NC (2008)

“I learned a great amount and was very impressed with the high caliber of the presenters and quality of materials [and] resources. It’s unfortunate that more American citizens don’t have the opportunity to hear the perspectives shared in order to form more well founded and reasoned opinions related to Israel.” Paula F. Stevenson Elementary, Bellevue, WA (2008)

“I teach at both a Jewish Day School and a synagogue afternoon school, but have never been to Israel and my knowledge about the country was woefully limited. I know that I can go back to my students now feeling much more confident in relating to them what I have been taught. I am sure that the informational resources that you have provided, the opportunity to learn from such magnificent people and the possibility of continuing a network with new peer friends, will continue to influence my teaching methods for many years.” Beverly B. Congregation Etz Chaim, Marietta, GA (2008)

“This past week in Atlanta was an important week in my life as an educator, as an Israeli, as a Jewish American, and as a mom to Jewish children because I got to study with bright, wonderful people, listen to some of the best minds sharing valuable knowledge, eat yummy food ALL DAY, enjoy all that was offered to us, but mostly because of the way that I was inspired all over again…I have been an educator for a very long time, and believe that our job is meaningful, and critical in the days in which we live, however, it is also very easy to get lost in the daily tasks that we need to complete. A week with ISMI made me pause, take a deep breath, and remember what our job is really all about.” Tamar W. Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, DC (2008)

“Thanks for re-inspiring me about the importance of educating about modern Israel. Now that we are home, I hope that we can come up with as many ways as possible to infuse it into life at our temple and beyond.” Rachel F. Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland, MA (2008)

“Thank you again for a wonderful week. As I said, I’ve been to many conference but rarely have all of the arrangements and accommodations been so perfectly executed. I especially appreciated the private room. And the conference istelf was first rate. I’ve been sharing my notes from various speakers with friends and family. Today I’m sitting down to work on my plans for my Zionism class this fall. The problem is selecting from such a rich collection of articles and ideas!” Rabbi Dov B. Gann Academy, Waltham, MA (2006)

“It was wonderful being with you last week. It was an amazing workshop and I look forward to working with you to engage Pittsburgh Jewish educators in Israel education.” Sue L. United Jewish Federation, Pittsburgh, PA (2006)

I have been in education for 15 years, and this course is by far the best teacher’s course I have ever attended. The content was stimulating, the speakers were excellent and overall organization was top notch! Thank you for enrtiching my life!” Yvonne C. Shomrei Torah Religious School, Santa Rosa, CA (2006)

“…your workshop was phenomenal. It was inspiring and I learned so much. We had our school staff meeting today and I suggested numerous ideas that can be incorporated into the school’s culture, across the board at all grade levels to help connect the students to Israel. Thank you for an enlightening educational experience.” Varda F. Temple Emanuel Religious School, Waban, MA (2005)

“Ken Stein is a visionary, a bench-mark, brilliant scholar, a dynamic and inspiring lecturer, who reaches out to anyone who wishes to learn on any level about Zionism, Israel, and education, I applaud the Avi Chai Foundation for funding his endeavors…the workshops are precious gems among so much unfortunate mediocrity in the area of Jewish education.” Barbara G. The Frisch School, Paramus, NJ (2005)

“Everything was exceptionally organized and that the speakers were phenomenal. And the materials – you have given me such great materials…I now have a vast repertoire from which to draw lesson plans. You have helped me to become a better teacher, and I and my students are indebted to you. I can think of no better way to begin my career–you and your colleagues have left me inspired and excited to begin my teaching of modern Israel and Jewish history in general.” Beth H. The Weber School, Atlanta, GA (2005)

“…let me again congratulate you on a terrific ISMI seminar, with its consistently very high caliber presenters, well thought out and orchestrated logistics, excellent resource materials, wonderful choice of accommodations, and the overall high value of the ISMI program.” Michael L. Bureau of Jewish Education, San Francisco, CA (2004)

“I want to let you know what a phenomenal time I had. I was seriously floored by the quality of the staff and speakers!!! I have gained even more insight on the issues I care most about.” Danielle B. Congregation Emanu-El Religious School, Houston, TX (2004)

“…wanted to say once again it was an incredible week… You are doing a mitzvah with the work you are doing. You are helping us get back to some of the next generation from forgetting about our connection to Israel.” Andrew P. Temple Emanuel of Tempe Religious School, Tempe, AZ (2004)

“First let me extend my heartfelt gratitude for one of the best professional/personal experience I have had in a while… The clarity and organized mode of most presenters were real assets for me… Not only were we honored by the best and brightest in the field of Israel study, but we were treated royally. The mutual respect and kavod had to get all of us lots of those old “Mitzvah Points.” Seriously, all presenters modeled the type of behavior WE must show OUR students.” Alice N. Congregation Agundath Achim Religious School, Taunton, MA (2004)

“…thank you for the wonderful experience that I had this past summer… It was empowering for me. I have spoken about it often in the community…” Shelley K. Margolin Hebrew Academy, Memphis, TN (2004)

“I was privileged to attend the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel Workshop at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles last week. It was the most intense and high-quality workshop I have ever attended… we learned from superior professors… Each of them shared their expertise with us and taught us about Israeli politics, government, culture and history. They presented the material in a professional and understandable way. Best of all, they inspired us to incorporate more Israel education into our American Jewish Religious Schools.” Ellen F. Temple Solel School, Encinitas, CA (2004)

“From the first morning’s program it was apparent that you run a class act. In organizing the program, from logistical details to the order of the sessions, you left nothing to chance. Everything was carefully thought out and meticulously planned. You selected presenters who were not only experts in their fields, but dynamic and inspiring speakers, as well.” Phoebe W. The Frisch School, Paramus, NJ (2003)

“As someone who lived in Israel for 11 years, and having spent considerable time reading and studying about Israel, I came to the workshop with a solid base of knowledge about Israel. I came away from the workshop with a much wider base of knowledge, many creative ideas for teaching about Israel and an incredible gift of fantastic teaching resources.” Bob F. Temple Beth-El, South Bend, IN (2003)

“I am still reeling from all of the information presented at last week’s Israel seminar for Jewish educators. I can’t begin to tell you how much I learned not only about Israel, but about being a teacher and a learner… Designing the workshop with an eye to both learning and doing enabled each of us to come away with information and practical suggestions for its implementation. This generally does not happen. Seminars for educators usually focus on one or the other, not both. Mazal tov!” Iris S. Ner Tamid, Bloomfield, NJ (2003)

“Invaluable was the booklet of documents you provided, as was the entire binder of resource materials. The dialogue, both stimulating and provocative, among participants and speakers, integrated throughout the workshops, was useful in helping us internalize the complex concepts set forth.” Ruth P. Bureau of Jewish Education, Providence, RI (2003)

“At the conference, a group of us put together a curriculum on teaching the modern state based on Proclamation of the State of Israel. We discussed how to bring the document ‘alive’ for the children by using maps, games, play-acting and discussion. I’m looking forward to developing this idea into a year long course.” Kathy L. Solomon Schechter Community Day School, Pittsburgh, PA (2004)

“I never imagined that the last week would make such a difference both for our school and for me personally. I was exposed to more brilliant experts in their field in one week than during my entire undergraduate and graduate careers.” Simone S. Ohavay Zion Synagogue Religious School, Lexington, KY (2003)

“I arrived in Atlanta as a teacher already committed to trying my personal best to build a bridge between my students and their Jewish connection to Israel. When I left the course, Friday, June 27, 2003, not only was I strengthened in my commitment to work even harder to help these young people build their bridge, I found myself vastly better prepared.” Lewis W. Temple Emanuel of South Hills, Pittsburgh, PA (2003)

“I enjoyed the intensity and passion that surrounded the entire duration of the workshop. I have visited Israel through the eyes of a tourist. I am now very motivated to travel there as a teacher.” Robin L. Temple Israel religious School, Charlotte, NC (2003)

“You have made it so easy for me to share primary source materials with my students and have given them an opportunity to use higher level thinking skills to analyze, evaluate, and draw conclusions about events of one hundred years ago and apply them to situations now and make inferences about the future… I will no longer go into a state of panic when my principal asks me to teach about Israeli elections or Israeli government! My life has been so enriched…” Rhoda W. Torah Day School, Atlanta, GA (2002)

“I must declare that the Pre-Collegiate Teacher Workshop on the History, Culture and Politics of Modern Israel was by far the most enriching and important educational workshop I have attended as a Jewish and Israeli educator in the last decade… The workshop’s distinctive quality was obvious from its inception up to its completion… I invested so little money in something that gave me back so much in return…” Shlomit A. Temple Beth-El, Birmingham, AL (2002)

“The week spent filled a massive void in the material we are normally instructed to use… It is absolutely necessary to teach the students of modern Israel for them to continue to show an interest in the survivability and the continuation of Israel as they mature into adults. The future support of Israel by future generations is absolutely essential…” Gayle H. Congregation Shir Tikvah, Troy, MI (2002)

“Those six days transported me to a higher level of thinking and raised my awareness of the world around me… I have brought home with me a deeper respect for the history and culture of Israel and an understanding of the politics which I did not have prior to this experience. I feel empowered to share my knowledge with my students and colleagues…” Teresa H. The Emery/Weiner School, Houston, TX (2002)

“This six day course has changed my approach to the study of Israel for my 7th graders. Having such exceptional educators share their knowledge and teaching philosophies has motivated me to prepare a year long course incorporating so much more than I have in the past… As a religious school teacher at Temple Beth Tikvah, a docent at the William Bremen Jewish Museum and a volunteer at Jewish Family Services, I plan to strongly encourage my fellow faculty, public school educators and other religious school educators to take part in this program… The time is long overdue for all teachers to give a comprehensive and accurate account of Israel’s history to all students…” Ellen H. Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, GA (2002)

“This workshop has provided me with insights and knowledge, which are critical in making good and appropriate decisions for shaping our school’s curriculum… I have complete 33 years in school settings, both public and now religious. I cannot identify any other course, which has had such an impact on me…” Charles H. Yeshivat Rambam, Baltimore, MD (2002)

“This was definitely one of the finest conferences I have ever attended in my 30 years of being a Jewish educator… The fact that we walked away with an incredible collection of usable materials was an added bonus. I returned to my community feeling enlightened and excited by my experience at Emory…” Mary B. Talmud Torah, Minneapolis, MN (2002)

“This past week at Emory was an amazing educational experience. I found the conference to be well organized with truly outstanding presenters…. My staff is in awe of the materials that I brought home. We will be integrating them into our curriculum at the 5th and 10th grade levels where we concentrate on Israel and throughout the school where appropriate.” Dorothy H. Congregation B’nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL (2000)

“The caliber of presenters was outstanding and the subjects/materials were informative and useful. The joint focus on content and teaching methods was rare and very pragmatic…. An added bonus to the workshop is the group of colleagues with whom I can continue to network to help in my teaching.” Evelyn K. Akiva School, Nashville, TN (2000)

“On a personal note, the workshop experience re-energized my commitment to Jewish education.” David L. Consolidated High School of Jewish Studies, Charlotte, NC (2000)

“The workshop was undoubtedly one of the richest learning experiences that I can remember.” Eileen C. Congregation Beth Shalom, Atlanta, GA (2000)

“The formal sessions provided us with an opportunity to explore Israeli history, politics, and culture on a high level while constantly considering how we can translate this material for our students…The informal gatherings in the hotel lobby enabled us to learn about the work of our colleagues in different areas of the country.” Rebecca F. Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY (2000)

For an independent and external evaluation of the one week workshops, see Avraham Y. HaCohen’s “Survey of Participants in the ‘Workshops on Modern Israel’ of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel of Emory University,” Interim Report, The AVI CHAI Foundation, New York, 2006. This evaluation was conducted when the one-week workshops were held under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel. In July 2008, CIE inherited the choreography of the one-week workshops.*

Read a history of the one-week workshops.