Shutafut-Partnership program of Kadimah Students with Israeli Peers

April 12, 2016
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The 2015-2016 school year brought an exciting program to Kadimah Academy.  Students in grades 6-8 have partnered up with students in grade 7 from the Tali School in Hod Hasharon.  The Jerusalem EdTech Solutions (JETS) program allows the students work on a shared Learning Management System, which is presented in both English and Hebrew. The material is adapted from the TALI curriculum and includes the students share information about themselves, students share information about their families, Jewish communities around the world, seeing the world through a Jewish lens (news) and juggling identities. The JETS Israeli coordinator, Pnina Rapoport regularly facilitates and enables the smooth interactions of the two schools and teachers.

At Kadiah Academy, the program is implemented by Michal Shmuel Lewis is a collaborating with Karina, an Israeli teacher and her students who are studying the same curriculum.  The students explored the theme ‘where our families come’ along with how we celebrate our Holidays. Students prepared presentations and slides and posted it as a Google presentation.  Each class posted questions for each presentation.

Students have also had few opportunities to ‘meet’ as a class through Skype.

“My students are very excited to work with the Kadimah students” said Karina, the teacher in Israel. The fact that the interactions are substantial, academic and meaningful has really strengthened the connection between our students.  I also really enjoy working with Michal, who is an exceptional teacher.”

The exciting aspect of this program is that this was planned in mind specifically for these Kadimah Academy students who will travel to Israel in 2017.  Knowing that we are really going to meet our new Israeli friends makes the relationships more tangible.  The thought of exploring Israel together on various day-trips that are being explored just magnifies the anticipation and excitement.

Thanks to social media, the tech-savvy students extended their connection through individualized and group interactions.  Shira Symons, a Kadimah 7th grader explained:

“I follow some of the Israeli girls like Leshem and Michal  on Instagram.  We snapchat a bit. We also have a big group chat on What’s App.  I really enjoy being able to talk to kids in Israel because I get to practice my Hebrew and find out how life is out of the US.  It’s amazing that I will get to meet them in about one year!”

At Kadimah, Israel and Hebrew are not ‘subjects’ to study.  They are a part of the school’s fabric and the Shutafut program has been phenomenal in hands-on enhancing the students’ identity and commitment to Hebrew and strengthening the link with Israel.

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