In “Defining Israel Education,” a study commissioned by the i-Center, Bethamie Horowitz describes defining characteristics of Israel education and key distinctions between Israel education and related endeavors, such as Israel advocacy and Israel studies.
What Israel Education Is:
Horowitz defines the goal of Israel education to enable the learner to build a personal relationship with Israel that is integral to the learner’s Jewish identity. Horowitz identifies additional critical elements, among them:
- Israel education is an integral part of Jewish education.
- Because Israel education seeks to promote identity outcomes, effective Israel education is learner-centered, developmentally appropriate, ongoing and holistic.
- Parents, families and others (in addition to the classroom teacher) can play a key role.
- Israel travel and relationships with Israelis are essential.
- Israel education is planful, systematic, rigorous, and ongoing, as distinguished from one-shot or scattershot efforts to teach Israel.
- Hebrew language attainment is an important piece of the puzzle.
We also believe effective Israel education must be:
- Multi-dimensional – exposing the learner to multiple aspects of Israel (history, politics, religion, sociology, culture, arts, etc.);
- Personal – enabling the learner to understand why and how Israel is important to them and helping them forge an ongoing engagement with Israel.
What Israel Education Is Not:
In addition to defining Israel education, Horowitz distinguishes it from other related pursuits.
A critical distinction is offered between Israel education and Israel advocacy. Additional definitions and distinctions are offered for two other endeavors: Israel studies and branding.
Horowitz offers this chart to illustrate the differences: