At the beginning of the BASIS process, the Leadership Team is tasked with either writing or revising the school’s Israel Education Vision Statement.
The crafting of this Vision is key, as it allows for the critical clarification of the values of the board, administration and parents as they pertain to Israel education in the school. The Israel Education visioning process ensures that BASIS is aligned with the school’s overall mission and vision.
Critically, the newly crafted vision of excellence in Israel Education provides a starting point for an articulation of the essential questions and enduring understandings that will guide the BASIS curriculum work and choice of pedagogical strategies for the school.
It is essential that schools that have long had Israel as part of their vision and curriculum go through the visioning process anew. They need to determine whether the way they have taught Israel in the past aligns with their vision for the future. The Head of Jewish Studies at one such San Francisco Bay Area school said, “We are definitely more in touch now with what we want our students to know” as a result of the school’s Israel Education re-visioning.
In a survey of Heads of Schools and BASIS Coordinators at the San Francisco Bay Area schools in the first BASIS cohort, 89% of the respondents said that the Israel Education mission and visioning process was valuable to varying extents. 84% said it was valuable or extremely valuable.
Some schools may find that the guidance of an organizational development consultant can benefit the visioning process.
The following is an example of an excellently crafted Israel Education Vision Statement. It is from Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco. The school chose to articulate the vision in terms of the habits of heart, mind and conduct it wishes to help its students forge.