Leadership Development Programs
The most effective way to impact students is by educating educators. It is with this goal in mind that TALI launched Halleli, an intensive learning experience aimed at engaging educators from TALI and non-TALI schools, and encouraging them to embark on personal journeys, exploring their individual Jewish identities as Israelis and as members of the Jewish People.
The program consists of 200 hours of classes, workshops and seminars over 25 days spread throughout the school year. Topics explored include Philosophy of Jewish Education; Classic Jewish Texts; Judaism Throughout the Ages: How Crises Spark Creativity and Renewal; Israel’s Relationship with Jewish Communities Overseas/Pluralism, and History and Challenges in the North American Community.
The program culminates with a study trip to North America during which participants explore the diversity of communal institutions, approaches to Jewish education and expressions of voluntary Jewish life. The mission component is an integral part of Halleli, conceived to enable Israeli educators to experience an intensive, focused exposure to the true breadth of expression in the North American Jewish community and through that encounter reflect on their identities as Israeli Jews. They encounter all streams of Judaism, engaging with Jewish leaders from different denominations, and meeting with local Jewish educators in both formal and informal settings. It opens participants’ eyes to new models of cooperation and Jewish expression and alerts them to both achievements and challenges of Jewish communal life. They leave with a deeper understanding of their own heritage, an appreciation of the plurality of voices within Judaism, a sense of solidarity and shared responsibility with Jews of the diaspora, and motivation to foster discussion about Jewish identity in their schools and in wider Israeli society.
Outstanding Aspiring Educators Program
Next year a new experimental program will open in cooperation with Seminar Kibbutzim (Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts) in Tel Aviv.
The initiative stems from the desire to support students in four-year B. Ed. programs to learn and develop professionally in Jewish education. TALI identifies outstanding students in their final undergraduate year and offers them an additional day of study focusing on Jewish and Israeli identity issues using TALI curriculum. Students have a year-long internship in TALI schools that includes one day a week of mentoring and supervision. In exchange for this effort students receive a living stipend, a free professional development day and certificates as Jewish-Israeli cultural studies experts.
TALI develops educational resources supporting the TALI Curriculum to provide practical and engaging models for their teachers for the integration of the TALI syllabus into their classrooms. The materials teach Jewish sources and expose children to Jewish tradition in a way that inculcates democratic values and religious tolerance, as well as respect for other cultures. Textbooks are used in each grade to teach the weekly Torah portion, holidays, and other values-based topics.
TALI has published 35 textbooks (print and online) for classroom use, two siddurim (prayerbooks) for young children and elementary schools, thematic interactive study kits and games for family engagement. All textbooks are now available in digital format to TALI and non-TALI schools, greatly increasing accessibility of TALI materials to a world-wide market. Consequently, textbook usage has increased.
A welcome addition to TALI’s online presence is the Spiritual Education Laboratory, a wealth of resources including texts, spiritual education terminology, music, film and links to related sites.