Leon Symons
A seminar in Israel may help to plug the gaps in the ranks of Ivrit teachers in Jewish secondary schools. Eleven secondary school teachers have just returned from the first Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS) seminar for modern Hebrew teachers, which was held in Israel. Teachers from JFS, JCoSS, Yavneh College, Hasmonean, Immanuel College, Lubavitch Girls’ Senior School, King David Manchester and Leeds JFS participated.  The principle aim of the seminar was to speed up the development of a group of secondary modern Hebrew teachers in the UK who are highly skilled educators and excellent MFL practitioners. They will possess a solid understanding of Hebrew as a foreign language, an in-depth knowledge of the Wohl Yesh Va’Yesh Hebrew programme developed by the Centre for Education Technology (CET) and PaJeS specifically for UK secondary schools, and the ability to inspire
both students and other teachers. The group included some current and potential future subject leaders. PaJeS modern Hebrew lead Samantha Benson said: “The teachers who participated in the seminar will form the basis of the PaJeS/Jewish Schools Network secondary Ivrit group. We firmly believe that there are a number of future subject leaders within the group who will already be able to support and inspire their colleagues.” The four-day seminar was held in the CET in Ramat Aviv. The course was based on classroom observations, and the Yesh Va’Yesh evaluation PaJeS has carried out and followed with a continuing professional development programme run in London and Manchester. As part of the seminar, the group visited an Israeli high school that specialises in language teaching and enjoyed a World Zionist Organisation (WZO) session, looking at the history of Ivrit teaching in the 20th century. In addition to the range of practical seminars and workshops related to classroom methods and
the Yesh Va’Yesh programme, the group experienced some of CET’s cutting-edge educational technology with a virtual reality session and spent time making a short film in the CET studio.
One teacher who attended the seminar commented: “The course was planned and delivered faultlessly. It allowed me to learn a lot of new ideas and teaching strategies and gain a better understanding of the
many aspects of the Yesh Va’Yesh programme, while working with and learning from outstanding teachers from the whole country.”