Feb 02, 2024 San Diego Jewish World

CHICAGO (Press Release) — Amid new challenges and realities facing Israel and Jewish communities around the world, educators are seeking new skills and approaches to engage with the complexities around conflicts.

To meet this demand, The iCenter’s Conflict of Interest (COI) Certificate Program gathers educators from around North America to provide them with the necessary competencies to educate about conflicts in their unique educational setting.

“We need to approach the conflict and not avoid it. In our community people are looking for insights and resources for how to address the conflict. In conversations with neighbors, family and school districts, people are feeling helpless. The tools we are being given at COI are practical approaches, equipping us to go home and create conversational space and understanding for our community,“ explained Kara Rosenwald, Director of Global Experiences and Events at Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and a participant in the COI program. Kara is also an alumni of The iCenter’s graduate degree program in Israel at George Washington University.

The iCenter recently convened over 100 educators in Chicago  for an intensive educational experience. Educators, more than ever, are seeking to deepen their knowledge and gain tools to create an environment where students feel challenged yet comfortable sharing their own experiences and questions.

“Engaging with conflicts is one of life’s defining challenges – particularly for educators who are tasked with transforming these moments of uncertainty into moments of growth and learning,” remarked Anne Lanski, Founding CEO of The iCenter. “The initial cohorts  of COI, reflect  our dedication to developing educators with the knowledge and skills to facilitate learning with greater confidence and competence.”

Brad Mittelman, Dean of Students Senior Division at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto shared, “It’s all about perspectives and narratives. They are such an integral part of understanding our history and what brought us to this current junction, and we don’t always take the time to understand this. Attending COI has encouraged me to look at all of the different perspectives and actively seek out diverse narratives.”

Since its founding in 2008, The iCenter continues to support meaningful and enduring connections to Israel and Israelis by supporting the field of Israel education across North America. The COI Certificate program has been generously supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Jim Joseph Foundation, and Crown Family Philanthropies.