Prozdor's Approach to Israel Education and Engagement
Building Transformative Relationships Between Israeli and American Jews Through Youth and Young-Adult Engagement
Hebrew College and Prozdor are at the forefront of innovation and creation in the area of American-Israeli learning and collaboration for youth. Through numerous programmatic and curricular options, along with Israel travel experiences, participants in our programs and courses on both sides of the partnerships are able to co-create a new reality for Jewish youth in American and Israel informed by a deeper understanding of the particular cultural frameworks in which their identities have developed.
Our programs create a deeper mutual understanding that contributes to a cooperative global initiative in addressing the challenges that face the Jewish people which will, in the process, mold the evolution of a new and comprehensive identity for themselves and Am Yisrael. The power of this partnership between American and Israeli youth, working together on equal footing, is a dramatic transformation of the traditional dynamic that has informed Israel-Diaspora relationships, and is shaping a new reality for how Jews on both sides of that partnership trust and learn from each other, and work as partners in creating a bright Jewish future.
Hebrew College and the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa have developed a meaningful sister-school partnership. Through a combination of curriculum development, immersive travel experiences, staff exchanges, technology-based learning, and project development, we are creating new best practices for twenty-first-century Israel-Diaspora education and collaboration, while forging intense connections between hundreds of students and families in both communities.
Through our leading-edge curricula, Prozdor and Reali students jointly examine their particularly Jewish perspectives on pressing societal challenges that are not being solved by political structures that seem to be ineffective and increasingly polarized.
Critical issues surrounding freedom of speech, economic policy, environmental advocacy and regulation, the boundaries of government surveillance, and the separation of church and state are studied by students in both schools through an innovative case study model co-developed by educators at Prozdor and Reali. Students from Haifa and Boston evolve their own, original suggestions towards new solutions to these challenges.
Each month-long module begins in an online platform with a shared case study, continues with student-led investigation and inquiry, and concludes with a real-time videoconference session in which student groups make presentations as a result of the online collaborative work.
In the process of studying this curriculum, the students begin to understand the different perspectives each has of the other, as well as their own self-image. This contributes to a deeper understanding of the contexts out of which their ideas of their Jewish identity differ.
Hevruta Gap-Year Program
The Hevruta Partnership in Global Jewish Learning and Leadership, a collaboration of Hebrew College and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, is the first fully integrated and balanced gap-year program for North American and Israeli student leaders from a diverse range of Jewish backgrounds and perspectives. Hevruta students study, learn, and live together in Jerusalem for ten months, strengthening ties between the individuals participating in the program and, in turn, their countries. The program addresses both Israeli and North American cultures and contexts as compelling centers of contemporary Jewish leadership and discovery.
Teen Travel to Israel
Prozdor sponsors regular trips to Israel, where students have the opportunity to explore the Jewish homeland through a host of meaningful activities and programs. The power of peer travel has been proven over the years; those who go on trips through Prozdor tend to be the most committed and passionate students.
Certificate in Jewish Teen Leadership
Hebrew College and the Cohen Camps offer a joint Certificate in Jewish Teen Leadership to prepare teens for their immersive Israel leadership experience. This nine-month program trains participants in the Cohen Camps’ Dor L’Dor Israel program to become reflective leaders and practitioners. Instruction takes place both online and in classrooms in Israel and the United States.