The Melton Centre for Jewish Education represents the Hebrew University’s commitment to the advancement of Jewish education worldwide. For many years that commitment has included a focus on understanding and improving how Israel is taught in the Diaspora. This focus has been expressed in conferences, research projects, professional development programs, and curriculum development initiatives, all animated by a shared incentive to advancing the field of Israel education.
In recent years, the Centre's work in this field has intensified in response to a widespread concern that younger Diaspora Jews are increasingly disconnected from the State of Israel. This increased effort has, in turn, fostered insights,skills, and institutional capacity at the Centre that we will bring to bear on future projects.
The Melton Centre's work in this field is driven by the study of the practice of Israel education and its impact, and by theoretical approaches to the purpose of Israel education. Our teaching and development work with communities around the world is grounded in these ongoing activities and in the insights that emerge from them.
Important papers that communicate some of these insights are:
Isaacs, A. (2011) Israel Education, Purposes and Practices. In H.Miller, L.Grant& A. Pomson (eds.) International Handbook of Jewish Education. Dordecht: Springer. 479-496.
Pomson, A.D.M. & Deitcher, H. (2010) Day school Israel Education in the Age of Birthright, Journal of Jewish Education. 76(1): 52-73.
1. In 2010, with the support of the AVI CHAI Foundation, the Centre launched a video-based study of what North American high school students think and feel about Israel. This initiative builds on our previous research to enable a clear demonstration of how young people experience the Israel education provided by their schools and by other social institutions with which they interact.See a sample of the videos here.
2. In August 2010, as a complement to our research in North America, and with funding provided by the Pratt Foundation, we launched a parallel 18-month study in Australia. This explores how Australian day schools teach about Israel, and how their classes in Israel education are experienced by their students.