An understanding heart acquires knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
לב נבון יקנה דעת ואזן חכמים תבקש דעת -משלי יח: טו
Great educational staff is a combination of nature and nurture. Honing raw talent, adding content to charisma, and encouraging the educator's exploration of personal and professional identity can make the good, great.
The launch of the Birthright Israel Institute for Tour Educators aims to develop a growing cadre of tour educators who:
• understand themselves as informal Jewish educators
• embody and articulate the central and unique place of Israel as a landscape of inspiration, meaning, and challenge for Jewish life
• will accompany Birthright Israel participants on a key leg of their life-long Jewish journeys.
Tour Educators in Training
Cultivating top-notch educational staff is crucial for the success of Birthright Israel's educational mission. Participants for the training tracks of the Taglit Institute will be carefully selected. Students will need to exhibit a wide range of relevant life experiences, a variety of intelligences, and the ability to work hard and work well in situations demanding great responsibility, flexibility, and creativity.
A passion and commitment to Jewish life, and to Birthright Israel's mission is foundational to the vision of the educator fostered by Taglit Institute for Tour Educators. Successful completion of the training will depend on a high level of performance throughout the program.
All training tracks will be selective as well as highly subsidized in order to recruit the best possible candidates. All graduates of the Taglit Institute will commit to working with Taglit groups following completion of training.
• A high standard of intellectual, educational, and professional excellence.
• An attention to deepening knowledge and enriching practice through a synthesis of three kinds of apprenticeships:
"a cognitive apprenticeship wherein one learns to think like a professional, a practical apprenticeship where one learns to perform like a professional, and a moral apprenticeship where one learns to think and act in a responsible and ethical manner that integrates across all three domains." (Professor Lee Shulman, 2005, p.3)
• Ongoing work to encourage tour educators in training to articulate their vision of Jewish education and to demonstrate in a reflective way the embodiment of that vision in their practices and pedagogies.
• Engagement with the educational platform of Birthright Israel and the integrative model that underpins Taglit's educational platform
Yad Izhak Ben Zvi
The Taglit Institute for Tour Educators is proud to be working with the Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi in the development and operation of the Institute's training tracks. Yad Ben Zvi is one of Israel's premier educational institutions bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in Land of Israel studies, public education, and the training of tour guides.
Three different training tracks are available for tour guides and educators of various levels of professional experience:
The Tour Educators Forum
A week-long program for veteran Taglit tour guides who have worked with at least 5 Birthright Israel groups aims to cultivate a professional arena for development and training focusing on exposure to new knowledge, honing of educational thinking and skills. Participants will explore best practices and challenges rooted in their own field experience.
The Tour Educators Seminar
A three-week-long program for new tour guides provides professional initiation into the worlds that make Taglit a unique Jewish educational travel experience. Beyond the seminar and workshop-based learning, participants will join a Taglit bus and will share a Shabbat together focusing on the role of Shabbat in their lives and in Taglit. All graduates will commit to working with three Taglit groups within three years of training.
The Tour Educators Course
The most intensive program the Institute offers is a 14-month course (700 hours and 80 study tours days) combining the obligations of the Ministry of Tourism's Tour Guide Course and the unique content and approach of the Taglit Institute for Tour Educators. Graduating students will be eligible to test for an Israeli tour guide license through the Ministry of Tourism. All graduates will commit to working with 15 Taglit groups within five years of training.
The tour educator is not only a fountain of information. The tour educator is a fellow traveler, a facilitator, and a mentor helping young Jews from around the world experience Israel as a great adventure, ripe with opportunity, challenge, and beauty. The tour educator for Birthright Israel is not only a guide for Israel, but is also a guide for the Birthright Israel experience as a central stepping stone in the lifelong Jewish journeys of hundreds of thousands of young people from around the Jewish world.
For more information, please contact: Astrid Berkowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org