The 2011-2012 academic year got off to a great start for nearly 100 educators studying at the Be’eri School for Teacher Education, which was launched in October 2010 in partnership with Keren Karev. Fifty of these teachers are returning for their second year of intensified study in basic and advanced teachers training tracks. A new cohort of thirty teachers is beginning the two-year basic teacher track to become Tarbut Yisrael instructors. Graduates of the teachers’ tracks will receive Ministry of Education certification as Tarbut Yisrael instructors. Eighteen principals and department supervisors are beginning study in the principals’ track and an additional eighteen principals who participated in previous cohorts will return to the School approximately once every six weeks for enrichment seminars.
The academic year launched with a festive day of learning which started off with Beit Midrash study, after which the educators split into three groups, led by School director Rani Jaeger and faculty members Dr. Inbar Galili-Schachter and Ariel Aviv, to discuss themes related to the High Holiday season. The groups then convened for a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman on obligation and renewal and how to instill these values in students. The day concluded with a concert of piyutim [liturgical songs] and a discussion of these songs in their historical and cultural context and a festive toast in honor of the new year of study and the upcoming holidays.
The School also hosts open seminar days on special themes throughout the year. These are open to teachers who are not necessarily studying at the Be’eri School for Teacher Education. Some 150 educators attended this year’s first open seminar day, which was held in October at the Hartman campus in Jerusalem. The goal of the day was to provide these educators with a deeper understanding of particular Jewish studies content as well as with practical methodologies for transmitting Jewish studies lessons to their students. The day consisted of workshops and lectures on the theme of introspection on the state of the Jewish home and featured workshops on, among others, methodologies for teaching the texts that appear in two new Be’eri textbooks on Pikrei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) and Jewish identity. The teachers also attended a lecture by SHI faculty member and Israeli media figure Dov Elbaum on the meaning of freedom. The day concluded with a concert of songs related to the four species used during the holiday of Sukkot.