In 2013 Makom was commissioned by Pears Foundation to research and write a report into Israel Education taking place in the UK Jewish community.
You are invited to read the entire report here, and join the facebook page discussing the report here.
Below are the five recommendations we offered in the executive summary of the report:
1. Rethinking the Israel-engaged Jew
There is a lack of understanding as to what we are aiming toward. Why does Israel matter to Jewish life? What are our ultimate goals? Israel Education in the UK is an interwoven eco-system, that can be best influenced when driven by a rigorous ongoing sophisticated process of goals articulation.
Establish a think-tank process for leaders to develop their dynamic and evolving definition of the ideal “graduates” of Israel Education. This will act as the North Star for all ensuing enterprises, aiming not for a lowest common denominator but for the highest common factor in Israel educational endeavours.
2. Realising Israel Tour
The place of Israel Tour in the eco-system of Israel Education should be recalibrated to acknowledge changes in Israel and in Jewish life for 16 years olds in the UK.
Rather than relating to Israel Tour as the primary hook on which to hang our Israel Education hopes, we recommend the development of a range of interventions, of which the Israel Tour would be a fundamental component. Israel Tour should then act as the anchoring experience for a broad range of Israel education interventions, including a flagship Israel education festival for pre-University students.
3. Reimagining Long-term Immersive Programmes in Israel
The dramatic fall in the numbers of Israel Gap Year participants is extremely serious, bringing with it long-term damage to the future leadership of the community.
We recommend convening an incubator process involving all stakeholders, to seriously and fundamentally alter the nature and structure of Long-term Programmes in Israel. This incubator would include a Summit, where participants would thrash out a radical approach to long-term programmes according to what we call the 4 c’s – Convictions, Connections, Content, and Conversation.
4. Embracing the vibrant complexity of Israel
Complexity tends to be approached with trepidation, through the lens of politics in the public Jewish discourse. We would instead recommend galloping towards complexity with the energy of the arts and public celebrations.
- a. Celebration Recommendation
The inauguration of an Israel Festival, that empowers people and groups in the community to celebrate NGOs in Israel that inspire them and give them hope for Israel’s future, while reinvigorating the language of Partnership.
- b. Arts Recommendation:
The community should work to maximize the multi-dimensional role that Israeli arts can play throughout the community’s interactions with Israel, presenting Israel’s complexities in inspiring ways. Educational opportunities abound, but are as yet to be taken up. To this end we recommend the creation of the position of an Israel Arts and Education Coordinator.
5. Enhancing professional capacity
To enable the adoption and creative implementation of the visions that are articulated as a consequence of Recommendation 1, there is a need for a portfolio for Israel Education Training and Development. Teachers and youth and community educators need the professional opportunities to expand their own knowledge, develop their own educational stances, and create and use programming that speaks to the sophisticated ideas and realities of contemporary Israel. This function would coordinate and expand training opportunities, and would also lead the drive for the creation of a GCSE in Israel Studies.