Eshkolot Program at the Kerem Institute

Training Teachers of Jewish-Israeli Culture Sensitive to a Wide Variety of Traditions and Identities

The ‘Eshkolot Program at the Kerem Institute’ – Kol Israel Haverim is an academic training program for teachers of Jewish-Israeli Culture in secular government schools. The program cultivates a unifying Israeli Judaism, showing sensitivity to a wide array of Jewish traditions and identities among pupils in secular government schools.

The program develops a unique pedagogy for the interdisciplinary teaching of Jewish-Israeli Culture. It focuses on how to manage an identity discourse in the school that is sensitive to a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic audience, while encouraging Jewish textual literacy.

Training teachers in the program is based on core practices, especially Beit Midrash pedagogy, designed for teaching in middle schools. These core practices emphasize the teaching of subjects that are often ignored in the secular government school system, such as Masorti identity, and the heritage of the Sephardic Sages.

Each year, 18 student teachers are chosen to participate in this two-year program. They study classic and modern Jewish sources reflecting various Jewish communities in Israel, and deepen their familiarity with Jewish-Israeli Culture in literature, art, and music. The participants learn teaching pedagogy and didactics of teaching Jewish-Israeli Culture, and gain teaching experience in junior high schools, where they practice identity discourse in the classroom, while paying special attention to a wide variety of identities in secular government schools, especially the Masorti identity.

The Eshkolot Program at the Kerem Institute works in partnership with: the Saulire Foundation, the Posen Foundation, and in partnership with the David Yellin College, and the Ministry of Education – Heritage Department.

Each year, the Eshkolot Program at the Kerem Institute trains 18 student teachers.