Establish school community vision for Israel education and engagement. This involves visionary leadership, articulation within school mission statement and other foundational documents, a school culture supportive of professional learning in general and with regard to Israel/Peoplehood studies in particular, and supportive extra-curricular school community events and communications.
A Leadership Team, comprising faculty, administration and other key stakeholders (including lay leaders, parents and, for secondary schools, ideally, students) develops the vision statement. While it is counter-intuitive for some educational leaders to involve non-educators in this process, involving a broad representation of the school community in this process leads to broader buy-in by community stakeholders later on.
Articulating vision was an essential initial step in the curriculum design process. However, it had other benefits. For those schools that experienced most profound improvement, Israel education permeated the school community. This effort, to quote the Avi Chai team, “enabled stakeholders to develop a shared language that allowed them to talk about Israel with confidence and clarity.”
This activity – both the process and its product, lays the groundwork for all that follows inside and outside the classroom. Every respondent to our final evaluation survey who had undergone the visioning process reported that it was valuable.