The Kerem Institute
The Kerem Institute, one of the leading institutes in the country for teacher training, was founded in 1974 in order to provide an alternative to the existing educational institutes.
The studies at Kerem take place in an intimate atmosphere and on a high academic level, by maintaining full trust between the lecturers and students. The educational principles taught at Kerem are brought to the classroom by present and future teachers.
At the Institute, teachers and future teachers are enriched in the fields of Literature, Judaism, Sociology and the Arts, and in the spirit of Humanism and love of man.
In addition to training teachers, the Institute runs courses on diverse and varied culture issues intended for teachers on sabbatical, educators and the general public.
The Kerem Institute – General Description
The Kerem Institute was founded in 1974 in Jerusalem by Alliance Israélite Universelle, to train teachers in a humanistic and Jewish education in the formal education system. The Institute provides high school teaching certificates for students from different universities in Israel in the fields of Judaism, Humanities, Sociology and the Arts. The classes take place while the students study for their Bachelor’s degree or following their graduation.
The Institute initially was fully financed by Alliance Israélite Universelle until 2004-2005, without any financial assistance from the state. In 2006, the Kerem Teacher Training Program was incorporated into “The David Yellin College of Education”. The merge preserves the autonomy of Kerem, grants it an academic sponsorship and enables state financial backing. As a result, Kerem enjoys a flow of funds from the Ministry of Education, supplemented by donations from foundations and private donors.
The Kerem curriculum is unique and essentially different from other teacher training programs at universities and colleges. Studies at Kerem last three years, including a one-year internship. Each student takes up a number of courses, significantly more intense than the course requirements for a Teachers’ Certificate at the universities. The extensive studies could focus around Bible Studies or teaching Literature, or without focusing on one specific field of knowledge. This type of structure enables Kerem students to expand their field of education significantly beyond their university studies, to acquire an extensive knowledge base in Judaic studies and to undergo noteworthy studies in the field of humanism. A significant amount of time of the program is dedicated to actual training in the field, in the framework of which the students take responsibility for teaching a class for a whole academic year.
At Kerem there are 110 students (30 -40 each academic year). Candidates applying for Kerem are the best of students and they are accepted after a rigorous selection process. The student population consists of religious, secular and traditional Jews, while all subjects are taught jointly from a secular perspective. Exceptionally, over 30% of the students are men.
In addition, each year around 350 students enroll in the advanced educational courses at Kerem. Some of these students are working teachers and the rest are from the general public.
The Teaching Staff
Kerem’s teaching staff consists of the best teachers from the academia and from various educational institutions. Some of them are prominent figures in the fields of Art and Culture in Israel. Kerem’s teachers stand out, as opposed to university lecturers, because of their exceptional teaching skills and perception of teaching as a central component of their professional identity, beyond their specialized field. A great deal of them already has vast experience in teaching. This enables Kerem students to take teaching courses at the highest level, and to closely acquaint themselves with a rich assortment of exceptional teachers from different fields of knowledge.
Over 500 Kerem graduates hold key positions in many schools all over the country, in senior management positions and at the forefront of innovative educational initiatives. The Institute graduates are known for their extensive education and for their sense of calling. They are highly sought after among high schools principals. Notable Graduates (partial list)
Yehudit Shalvi, former Principal of Givat Gonen school and Principal of “Manchi” in the last few years.
Leah Shakdiel, a known activist in human rights organizations, and teaches at the Teacher Training program at Ben Gurion University.
Amira Parlov, Principal of the secular- religious school in Ma’ale Adumim.
David Biton, founded and directed the “Morasha” school network.
Ruthie Lehavi, founder and Principal of the “Keshet” school in Jerusalem.
Shira Broyer, Principal of the “Pelech” school in Jerusalem..
Micha Shalvi, former Principal of the Experimental school in Jerusalem.
Etti Abargil, a known artist that represented Israel in the Biennale in Venice, a leading Art Instructor and head of the Art Teachers Training Department at Kerem.
Continuous Employment in Education
85% of Kerem graduates continue to work as teachers in the formal education system for at least five years (the other 15% are mostly from the fields of Art and Music, and most of them did not integrate in the formal education system due to a shortage of positions in these fields)