Alliance Israelite Universelle – KIAH: Providing Education for over 150 years

Alliance Israelite Universelle - KIAH (Kol Israel Haverim) is an organization that has few peers.

A hundred and fifty years ago, its founders created a bold educational framework in Europe to enable Jewish students to integrate into their surrounding environment by providing universal education, while simultaneously strengthening Jewish tradition.

KIAH was ahead of its time. Established in order to safeguard the rights of Jews worldwide, over the years it became an educational force that transformed the Jewish world. Over a million students have passed through its institutes and programs.

As in the past, today the Alliance seeks to promote a tolerant Judaism, to nurture general education, to promote social responsibility and to foster respect for the "other" in society. It develops programs in two main areas: social Jewish education and educational excellence, providing equal opportunity for all students.

 The Alliance is currently in the process of expanding its activities in Israel to over 150 educational institutions. It is restoring the historic campus of the Mikveh Israel Agricultural school, and moving the organization's official headquarters there. It also operates in dozens of countries in Europe, North Africa and Canada.

Educational and scholastic excellence

Israeli students deserve conditions that foster educational excellence and enable them to realize their scholastic potential. It is essential to provide the training that will enable them to meet future challenges - to develop their critical thinking and foster their capacity for independent learning, while strengthening their self-image and increasing their motivation to study. This must be accompanied by enhancing their scientific abilities and setting a high bar for achievement.

Social Jewish Education in the Formal Educational System

In Israel
The Alliance seeks to further a Judaism that is expansive and inclusive, one that recognizes the values of social justice and applies them in daily life. This stands in contrast to the misguided approach that separates state secular from state religious education. The proper presentation of a traditional identity will engender a positive educational climate, a sense of belonging, and feelings of capability, personal growth and scholastic achievement.

In the Diaspora
The desire of Jewish communities in Europe to further local Jewish education depends on pedagogical support, training, and professional support. Providing guidance and cooperation to these communities' schools will firmly anchor Jewish education there and open fruitful channels of communication about Jewish tradition among educational systems.

Social Jewish Education in the Community and in Wider Israeli Society
The widening economic and social gap in Israel undermines the foundations of the state and weakens society. Although various groups define their Jewish identity differently, most seek a meaningful connection to Jewish tradition. Hence, the creation of a moderate and inclusive Jewish society, built on values of justice, mutual responsibility and concern for others, that gives proper expression to the rich traditions of Jews from Arab countries, will promote an egalitarian discourse and help to bridge gaps.

Identity-Oriented Pedagogy and Meaningful Learning
The growing demand for success in examinations engenders methods of teaching whose approach to knowledge and learning is purely instrumental. These methods hamper cultural and artistic development and inhibit creative and critical thinking. The investment in grades needs to be balanced with identity-oriented pedagogy and meaningful learning – this is particularly crucial in the periphery, where it will help create social mobility.

Goals

Educational Excellence
• Developing educational excellence through an understanding of the complex needs and goals of the students.
• Improving scholastic achievement in Israel's social periphery.

Social Jewish Education
• Strengthening Jewish education and community involvement in schools in Israel and Europe.
• Developing Jewish social leadership groups in the community and in wider society.
• Creating and inculcating a Jewish social language.
• Strengthening the common Jewish space shared by various sectors.

Identity-Oriented Pedagogy and Values
• Advancing identity-oriented pedagogy and values.
• Training and promoting professionals in the field.