JNF to send 68 teachers to Israel

Heading to Israel (from left) JNF NSW education shaliach Yigal Nisell, Bellevue Hill Public School senior administrative officer Rachelle Wygoda, Vaucluse Public School principal Maureen Hallahan, Rose Bay Public School deputy principal Lynn Young and JNF NSW executive director Gabbie Budai.

AN expanded JNF Australia Educators’ Study Tour of Israel of 68 teaching professionals from 20 schools across the nation – including two principals, three deputy principals and a large non-Jewish contingent – will see iconic Israeli sights and visit innovative and diverse schools from January 1-10.

High on many of the participants’ radars, as expressed at an information night in Sydney last week, were incredible professional development components built into the program, including a seminar at Yad Vashem about how to teach children about the Holocaust.

The group – which includes 44 educators from Sydney, 20 from Victoria, three from Perth and one from New Zealand – will have meetings and workshops at KKL-JNF headquarters, the Desert Stars Bedouin School, Shitim School, AICAT International agricultural school, Alexander Muss High School, Shaar Hanegev School and the Anzac Museum in Beersheba.

Vaucluse Public School principal Maureen Hallohan, who is not Jewish, said she is most looking forward to experiencing the history and sights of Jerusalem’s Old City, and the opportunity to meet and interact with Israeli principals and teachers.

“As a school principal, you have influence, so it is essential that you are well informed,” she said.

“A lot of our school’s students go on to attend high school at Moriah College or Emanuel School, so I’m very keen to get a much deeper understanding of the culture and heritage of our Jewish students by going to Israel.”

Peter Murkins, deputy principal at Parramatta’s Arthur Phillip High School, said “we are such a multicultural school, and we teach about the Holocaust and offer the Arab–Israeli conflict as a senior history topic, so I’d like to develop learning materials about Israel’s landscapes, people and places,” Murkin said.

“I’m also particularly interested in learning about how Israeli schools operate, and to make some connections there with our school.”

JNF NSW executive director Gabbie Budai will accompany the group along with JNF education shaliachs from NSW, Victoria and representatives from KKL-JNF’s Overseas Department of Education Division.

All participants will be asked to develop at least one educational project from the tour to implement at their schools.

SHANE DESIATNIK

A Jerusalem snapshot from the inaugural JNF Teachers’ tour last January.