Social and Heritage Projects
Over 65 years of Israel Sci-Tech Schools Network experience have shown that a strong, values-based education is key to developing in our students a sense of their Jewish and Israeli identity.
Indeed, 20 years ago, Israel’s Shenhar Commission was deeply worried that young, secular Israelis are increasingly alienated from their Jewish heritage and required Jewish-focused education in schools.
Just as young people are asking questions and forming their own identities, they are bereft of answers as to what Judaism can provide.
When students value their own culture and history, and its relevance to life today, they can also develop curiosity and tolerance towards other Israeli cultures.
Our response to this challenge is our cultural heritage programs, Roots of Israel (for Jewish students) and Heritage (for Arab students).
In the first stage of their learning, Jewish and Arab students delve into their own heritage and traditions; in the final phase Jewish and Arab students participate in joint activities, to learn about each other’s cultures.
Roots of Israel (Shorshey Yisrael)
Our Jewish students learn about their tradition, culture and the ‘Jewish bookshelf’, strengthening their Jewish identity and sense of belonging to the Jewish people and to Israel. They become deeply familiar with the collective memory and the story of generations of Jewish people.
Now in its eleventh year in our Jewish schools, the Roots of Israel program engages teachers, students and parents studying together on topics of their choice in these areas. Skilled educators are trained to conduct the program and the school program team designs a curriculum best suited to their own schools.
Jewish traditions, holidays and history are explored in activities, outings and discussions. A central component is the Beit Midrash (House of Torah Study) in which children, parents, teachers and students learn together formally after hours, valuing their intergenerational connection.
Last year 37 schools, 3 colleges and 25,000 Jewish students and teachers participated in this program, and in its Arab counterpart, Morashot (Heritage).
We also produced two course books and teacher’s guides approved by the Ministry of Education. The textbooks won recognition, approval and commendation from the Center for Israeli Culture and Heritage, and are studied both in our own and non-Israel Sci-Tech schools.
Our Jewish students learn about their tradition, culture and the ‘Jewish bookshelf’, strengthening their Jewish identity and sense of belonging to the Jewish people and to Israel.