Jewish Studies teachers from the farthest corners of the globe graduated in Jerusalem in January 2023 with Jewish Studies Teaching Certificates from Israel’s Ministry of Education.
Jewish Studies teachers from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Ecuador and Uruguay came to Israel in December to join a Spanish-language teacher training seminar in Jerusalem. They have been studying online for the past year on the Herzog College “Rimonim” professional development course organized by Rabbi Shmuel Kornblit.
The Rimonim project, now in its third year, was created through a partnership between Herzog College and Israeli’s Ministry of Education and Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, together with the Herzog-UnitEd initiative. The final stage of their course was a two-week educational seminar in Israel, including workshops by leading Jewish educators and visits to places of historical interest, such as the Donna Gracia Mendez Museum in Tiberius and Ir David in Jerusalem. They have also enjoyed workshops on digital pedagogy tools, developing Jewish identity, and making the study of Tanach relevant to today’s teenagers.
The teachers came from diverse schools and communities, including from Bahía Blanca in Argentina (near the South Pole!) from Quito in Ecuador, and from Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the North African coast near Morocco.
“There is a huge thirst for Tanach (Bible) studies throughout Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Jewish world,” explains Rabbi Kornblit. He recently visited Panama and Venezuela to meet with Jewish community leaders and school principals, to discuss what Spanish-language resources would be helpful to their Judaic Studies teachers. Thanks to the internet, even teachers from these remote countries can log onto Herzog College’s online professional development courses. Says Kornblit: “We hope that next year we will be able to bring Jewish teachers from even more countries to complete their teacher training in Israel.”
Rimonim graduates with the Herzog College team, and a video showing highlights of the Rimonim educational seminar in Israel.