Feb 19, 2024 Beverly Press

American Jewish University and The iCenter for Israel Education announced the launch of an innovative new course on Feb. 12 to deliver college-level Jewish education to high school students.

The initiative marks a significant effort from two prominent Jewish educational institutions to address antisemitism and misinformation in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks.

Titled “Understanding Israel: Its History, Culture, and People,” the course will be offered through AJU’s Jewish Learning Experience, which partners with Jewish community organizations to deliver college credit courses to high school students. Through a dynamic, experiential curriculum, “Understanding Israel” will help students explore Jewish history in the region from Zionism to statehood, investigate the impact of wars and peace initiatives on Israel’s borders, analyze Israel’s societal pillars and institutions and discover the lived experiences of Israelis and Palestinians. It will provide a sampling of the diverse people, flavor and arts that enrich Israeli society.

“The post-Oct. 7 environment has sent a clear message to Jewish educators. We need transparent, intellectually rigorous programming for teens about Israel and its complexities,” said Rabbi Carrie Vogel, director of undergraduate initiatives at AJU. “We’re proud to partner with the skilled educators at The iCenter to address this need and provide high-quality, college-level courses that equip students to analyze and understand Israel’s complexities in our changing world.”

The iCenter works with more than 170 academic and institutional partners across North America and Israel to advance the professional field of Israel education by supporting educators, pioneering new educational approaches and promoting a learner-centered philosophy.

“We are delighted to partner with AJU to advance our shared commitment to helping young Jewish students forge meaningful relationships with Israel,” said Anne Lanski, founding CEO of The iCenter. “Drawing from our work with Israel educators across the country and AJU’s unique understanding of the needs of the Jewish community, this course will meet high school students where they’re at with the knowledge, tools, context and experience they need to better understand and relate to Israel.”

For information, visit aju.edu