Chicago, IL—As Jewish youth serving organizations (YSOs) prepare to resume Israel experiences, 32 educators associated with RootOne trips are in the newest cohort of The iCenter’s Certificate in Experiential Israel Education. RootOne provides major subsidies for trip participants while also investing in trip curricula and experiences, providing deeper pre- and post-trip engagement. 22 organizations, including BBYO, USY, Ramah, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and NCSY are elevating their trip experiences by having educators in the Certificate Program.
“Given what we’ve all experienced the last 14 months, welcoming Israel experience educators into the Certificate program is very exciting,” says Anne Lanski, CEO of The iCenter. “These educators will engage youth through immersive, formative Israel experience programs. Helping to elevate their skills and knowledge now will ensure that the youths’ Israel experiences will be as meaningful and resonant as possible.”
The six-week certificate program will allow participants to practice new skills in small and large groups in order to move them further on a pathway to literacy in Israel and education. In turn, they will engage their students in meaningful education through Israel.
“RootOne is designed to help add to and strengthen the educational components of Israel experiences so that teens experience truly transformative weeks that change their lives,” says Simon Amiel, Executive Director of RootOne. “We partner with organizations to provide them with expert training so that educators have best-in-class educational approaches and resources at their disposal. This helps ensure deeply impactful Israel experiences.”
This is the second of seven planned cohorts in 2021 for the Certificate in Experiential Israel Education, each of which includes 30 to 40 participants from a wide range of educational settings for Jewish teens and youth. In addition to accepting individual participants, The iCenter works closely with organizations, such as RootOne, that want to build their own cohort for their professionals. The Certificate program is designed for early-to-mid-career professionals for whom Israel education is a part of their work, but who do not necessarily see themselves as Israel educators. In particular, professionals who work with teens and young adults, both in North America and in Israel experience programs, find the program useful in charting their path to engage young people in Israel. The Certificate program also welcomes applications from teens who are responsible for Israel education in their youth groups, summer camps, synagogues, school Israel clubs, and more.
The new certificate is the latest addition to the array of opportunities from The iCenter, professionalizing the field of Israel education.
RootOne is supported with a $20 million seed gift from The Marcus Foundation and is powered by The Jewish Education Project. Support for The iCenter’s Certificate program comes from Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the Paul E. Singer Foundation through the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund.