The goal of Partnership2Gether is to build connections between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry to help understand our cultures and ways of life that create the universe of a global Jewish people. The Educational School Twinning Program creates personal relationship between educators and students. The program’s concepts are created and designed by the educators with the goal of having creative and meaningful programs, adding a meaningful learning experience for both participating classes. The Twinning Program starts with a letter exchange project (similar to pen pals), in which the students tell about themselves in English and in Hebrew to get to know one another; their hobbies, their dreams and the daily life of a student in Israel and in the USA.
Agudas Achim in San Antonio is connected to Shazar Elementary School in Akko, Israel. Since last year, Karen Katims, the educational director of Agudas Achim, and Orli Carmi, the Israeli teacher from Shazar Elementary School, collaborate to build unique programs to strengthen the connection and widen the knowledge of their students regarding the life in Israel and in the USA. On Sunday January 12th the students from Shazar-Akko and Agudas Achim enjoyed the T’U Bishvat Seder. They ate dry fruits, sang songs and blessed on another for a fruitful year!
San Antonio has two more educational twinning programs for area students. Temple Beth El creates projects with the 8th grade from Ort Roz Middle School also located in Akko. Last year the students from Temple Beth El raised funds to send to the Lone Soldiers program in the Western Galilee. The Israeli students bought the candies and varied gifts and decorated the boxes and gave it to these lone soldiers in the Western Galilee with the letters from Beth El’s students. (More can be found HERE)
The Eleanor Kolitz Hebrew Language Acadamy (EKHLA) has just started a twinning with Regba Elementary School in Kibutz Regba. We anticipate building relationships between the students at these schools over the course of the next year.
There is another, unique twinning program being done at Agudas Achim that involves not only the students but also their families. This program is called The Same Moon and the goal is to create personal relationships between families from both sides of the ocean. Both families-the Israeli and American get a book called, The Same Moon, and in the book they get six assignments they should send to their twinning family like; send a picture and describe in a letter how you celebrate the Passover or share your last trip as a family, etc. Both families send pictures, letters and drawings by ‘snail mail’ (the one with the stamp and the envelope) and each family adds to the book the materials they receive from their twinning family.
This April, two Israeli teachers who have educational twinning programs with EKHLA and with Agudas Achim, will visit San Antonio, teach in these schools and work with the educators on the twinning program for 2014-2015.
The Jewish Agency for Israel and our Partnership2GETHER program in San Antonio and Israel is funded through a generous grant from Federation’s Annual Campaign.
By Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan
Education Task Force Coordinator
Central Area Consortium