Unpacked for Educators Launches Partner School Research Initiative to Explore Israel Education

Research study aims to better understand the use and impact of Israel education resources in schools

Unpacked for Educators, a digital resource for Jewish educators from Jerusalem U, has launched the Unpacked for Educators Partner School Research Initiative. 

This research initiative, which will run during the 2019-2020 school year, will help the Unpacked for Educators team better understand the use and impact of its Israel education resources and content in schools across the religious spectrum and across the world.

Unpacked for Educators includes a website with videos and resources, like the popular History of Israel Explained YouTube series, The Weekly current events newsletter and feature-length film programs

The goal of Unpacked for Educators is to explore the Jewish story in all its complexity, intellectual depth and sophistication, to help teachers show their students that Judaism and Israel are as meaningful and relevant as ever.

In collaboration with Rosov Consulting and the 14 Unpacked for Educators partner schools, the research initiative will establish a baseline of impact by surveying hundreds of students and teachers throughout the school year after they have engaged with the Unpacked for Educators content. The data collected will help deepen the Unpacked for Educators team’s understanding of the student needs for Israel education and will guide future content and activities to ensure educators have access to the most relevant and necessary materials. 

Under the leadership and guidance of Jerusalem U’s Senior Vice President of Education, Dr. Noam Weissman, the research initiative will cultivate a network of diverse schools, including community, pluralistic and Orthodox, to consult with and learn from one another about their unique approaches to Israel education. 

The hand-selected schools taking part in the partner school research initiative have committed to using Unpacked for Educators content and materials in their classrooms and to increase their emphasis on Israel education. These schools have already demonstrated a serious interest in growth and development in how they teach Israel.

As part of their commitment, the partner schools will use resources from the website and participate in a minimum of two film-based educational programs scheduled in the 2019-2020 academic year. The partner schools will also complete a series of student and teacher surveys throughout the academic year. 

“In this past school year alone, I have had conversations with over 100 Jewish day school principals and teachers along with dozens of Jewish education professionals from across the political and religious spectrum,” said Weissman. “While each school and each Jewish professional is unique, there is one thing that has been consistent throughout: More than a need, there is a deep and pervasive demand for practical ways to teach about Israel in a nuanced, sophisticated and non-dogmatic way. I am excited that Unpacked for Educators is tapping into this demand by providing videos, articles and educational resources that pique students’ curiosity and asks them questions that will foster strong identity development.” 

The 14 schools participating in this research initiative include:

  • Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School – Baltimore
  • The Weber School – Atlanta
  • Atlanta Jewish Academy – Atlanta
  • Bialik High School– Montreal
  • Hebrew Academy – Montreal
  • YULA Boys High School – Los Angeles 
  • YULA Girls High School – Los Angeles
  • Milken Community Schools – Los Angeles
  • Frankel Jewish Academy – Detroit
  • Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy – Philadelphia
  • SAR Academy High School – New York
  • Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls – New York
  • JCC Brooklyn, Kings Bay Y– New York
  • Leibler Yavneh College – Melbourne, Australia

For more details about Unpacked for Educators, the Unpacked for Educators Partner School Research Initiative and Jerusalem U, please contact Dr. Noam Weissman at nweissman@jerusalemu.org.

About Unpacked for Educators

Unpacked for Educators from Jerusalem U offers resources that explore the story of Israel and the Jewish people in all its complexity and sophistication. By untangling challenging ideas and bringing key historical moments to life, teachers have another way of showing students that Judaism is as meaningful and relevant as ever.

About Jerusalem U

Jerusalem U is a groundbreaking non-profit media organization for young Jews that creates purpose-driven content, including original videos and feature films for an audience of smart, passionate and curious teens and young adults

looking to engage with their heritage and history. Using innovative storytelling that sparks ideas, conversations and discussions, Jerusalem U is re-framing the way the eternal Jewish story is being transmitted to the next generation.

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