In response to Yossi Prager’s Opinion piece, “Israel Education: One Size Does Not Fit All” (June 6), I believe that in order to give day school students a comprehensive knowledge of Israel we have to present a curriculum that leads students on a consistent journey throughout their education. Abrams Hebrew Academy uses a curriculum developed by the Lookstein Center, Bar Ilan University to help us do that.
Abrams students study with booklets prepared by the Lookstein Center that encompass all aspects of Jewish education, including history, religion, holidays, and popular culture. Each year’s curriculum includes four booklets, so that by the time each student graduates 8th grade he/she has completed 32 booklets. Our students graduate not only with knowledge of important figures like Herzl, Ben Gurion, and Golda Meir, but with a comprehensive understanding of Israel’s past, present, and future.
Last year, Abrams formed a collaborative venture with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to develop and implement a science curriculum for grades 7 through 8. Our collaboration with Technion helps to showcase Israel to our students as a vibrant country, and one of the highlights of our annual eighth grade graduation trip to Israel is a visit to Technion. We also have a relationship with the Weizmann Institute and were the first U.S. school to participate in their Math- and Science-by-Mail programs. These collaborations with modern, cutting-edge institutions in Israel show our students that Israel is a dynamic nation state, and not a country only rooted in the past.
In order to teach students the greatness of Israel, that has to be our mission for each child from the first day in school to the last day out.
Director, Abrams Hebrew Academy Yardley, Pa.