In light of the growing gap between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, there is a need to create opportunities for meaningful encounters between these two demographics, which will instill a sense of equal partnership, empathy and respect between the two epicenters of world Jewry.
This unique program is offering model a paradigm shift, as we work in close partnership with Jewish schools across the country, and where the Shlichim are fully immersed within a Jewish American school. While these Shlichim share a common professional denominator and have daily interactions with their American peers, they often lack the larger context to fully grasp American Jewish life: including the historical origin narrative of the local Jewish community, an understanding of its structure and institutions, a familiarity with the community’s religious and cultural practices, and an appreciation of its values.
This proposal aims to provide these Shlichim with an immersive and experiential learning opportunity, one that explores all of the above in a diversified American-Israeli cohort. The program will help create the personal relationships needed in order to allow all participants to gain receptivity and a better understanding of their Jewish “other”.
The all program is subsidized by the WZO Education Department and this includes all educational materials, facilitation, tour guides, logistics, classrooms, and refreshments. It does not include meals and transportation
We are offering a three-part series for a fellowship cohort of 12-20 Israeli and American teachers from different schools across the city (up to 4 teachers from each school). This will allow for a more diverse group and maintain the encounter element between the two demographics. Each part which will be comprised of three components:
“Beit Midrash” text-study component, where participants study classic and contemporary Jewish texts in an American-Israeli Havrutah (pairs).
A walking tour and site visits to New-York neighborhoods that tell the narrative of American Jewry, past, present and future. Site visits include encounters with key figures in the communities/neighborhoods we will be touring.
A workshop that will allow participants to gain additional insight, process their experience and engage in guided conversation as an entire group.
Each meeting in the series will focus on a different topic allowing for a more in-depth exploration of foundational questions to our Jewish Identity. The three units in the series will connect and create a cohesive (though brief) overview of Jewish life in New York today.