World Education Conference 2017

World Education Conference 2017

In celebration of 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, educators from around the world gathered in the Galilee from July 17-24, 2017 for a conference designed to strengthen Israel’s relationships with Diaspora communities. One hundred teachers, principals and informal educators from France, Belgium, Morocco, and Israel spent the week networking and exploring Israel’s rich heritage, history, culture, and environment through the lens of KKL-JNF’s educational and ecological projects throughout the country.

Following professional development workshops, encounters with local educators and students, and engaging tours and site visits, the educators went home with practical educational tools they will use to engage their students in values-based activities that strengthen Jewish identity and connection to Israel. 

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Click on the day-by-day itinerary below to see pictures and learn more about this trip:

  • Day 1: Welcome to Israel, Now and Then

    The conference began with a tour of Nahal Zippori National Park in the Lower Galilee, an archaeological site from the First Temple period, followed by a visit to the Museum of Pioneer Settlement, which tells the story of the early settlers before the founding of the State of Israel.

    At the official opening ceremony of the conference, the educators heard from KKL-JNF representatives and local community leaders, and enjoyed Israeli folk music and dancing.

    Photo from KKL-JNF

  • Day 2: Building Ourselves in the Golan Heights

    The participants enjoyed an action-packed day of outdoor group-building activities in the Golan Heights, including a jeep ride, modern Israeli heritage programs, and empowering outdoor education training exercises.

    In the evening, they participated in professional workshops about Zionism, the Land of Israel, and Jerusalem, designed to help them develop engaging activities for their students back home to celebrate 70 years since the founding of the State of Israel.

    Photo from KKL-JNF

  • Day 3: Vision & Leadership

    The third day of the conference was dedicated to deepening personal vision and cultivating leadership skills, including an interactive vision-building program, a Jerusalem poetry workshop, and laughter yoga.

    They ended the day at a festive event at David’s Citadel in Jerusalem celebrating 50 years since the reunification of the capital in the Six Day War.

    Photo from KKL-JNF

  • Day 4: Exploring Jewish Identity in Jerusalem

    On a day devoted to the complex city of Jerusalem, the group heard from compelling speakers and participated in profound discussion groups about Jewish identity and peoplehood. They had the opportunity to try out KKL-JNF’s innovative Jerusalem activities that they will use with their students in honor of 70 years since the reunification of the city.

    At a panel designed to give feedback and share experiences about the conference thus far, the participants all agreed that the past few days had been the most empowering educational experience they had undergone in their lives as educators.

    Photo from KKL-JNF

  • Day 5: Preparing for Shabbat in the Holy City

    The group spent Friday preparing for Shabbat and experiencing the diversity of modern-day Jerusalem, including a shopping adventure in the colorful Mahaneh Yehudah outdoor market and a tour of the historic Nahlaot neighborhood.

    They enjoyed a lecture about Jewish educational methods and ushered in Shabbat with music and prayer led by a rabbi from Morocco.

    Photo from KKL-JNF

  • Day 7: A Zionist Legacy

    The final day of the conference began at the National Institutions Building, where the group discussed the role of international Zionist institutions in the development of Israel throughout history. The participants then toured the Herzl Museum and paid their respects to some of Israel’s greatest leaders at the adjacent cemetery.

    The closing ceremony was held at the KKL-JNF Nes Harim Field and Forest Center, where the participants were presented with certificates to remind them of their inspiring journey in Israel.

    Photo from KKL-JNF

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