A delegation of 10 teachers from Louisville’s Partnership2Gether region, the Western Galilee, visited Louisville April 10-12. They visited Louisville’s Jewish religious schools and preschools as well as some secular schools, sharing their ideas and practices and learning from ours.
Efrat Srebro, a leader in the Partnership’s Education Task Force and director of the Musical Kindergarten in Akko, served as spokesperson for the group. She explained that the group was in the United States to share the work of the Education Task Force.
Currently this task force is developing a series of games designed to strengthen the ties among students in Israel and the United States. They brought three games to share.
“We have Match Match,” Srebro explained. “It’s about everyday life, what is the similarity and what is the difference between life in Israel and America.” The game works similarly to The Match Game. A variety of pictures are spread out face down and the players have to find the matching pairs.
This game is unique, however, because the matching pairs are not identical. Instead, players have to pair a photo representing how something is done in Israel with how it is done in America. For example, Srebro said, a picture of a cat in Israel would pair with a squirrel in the U.S., and clothes drying on an outdoor clothesline in Israel would pair with a dryer here.
The group also brought history and holiday games. They have plans to develop an entire bank of fun educational games and make them available to teachers across the Partnership. They are looking for ideas for other games from other Partnership communities so this project is a true collaboration.
Another new Education Task Force program involves music. Louisville’s Kathy Karr will be heading up the Singing Together program. The American communities will choose one song and the Israelis will choose another. On both sides of the ocean multiple generations of families will learn the songs together and then via Skype everyone will sing in both Hebrew and English.
In a final program Tuesday evening, LBSY and The Temple Hebrew School students, teachers and their families met at Anshei Sfard to enjoy the new games and to learn a new Israeli dance. Los Angeles folk dance teacher Jane Bernard, who visits Louisville regularly, taught the dance until Americans and Israelis were able to do it together.
Rabbi David Feder, principal of the Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad and his wife, Karen Feder, coordinated the Israeli delegation’s visit and handled all the details. The Israelis, Karen Feder said, “have so many ideas and so much to offer us … and they’re offering it freely.”
She said the Israelis are offering more than games. “They have other bigger picture programs … [like] Generation to Generation.” This program “involves bringing children together with either grandparents or other older people in the community. … The kids are paired with elderly people. The older people give the kids the stories and the kids teach the older people to use the technology.”
Feder, who was part of a Louisville delegation that visited the Western Galilee last summer, is excited about all the possibilities and feels strongly that the Louisville Jewish community needs to become more involved and supportive of Partnership programming and more people need to participate.
Another Louisville teacher who visited the Western Galilee last summer and participated in some of the activities in Louisville this month is Bernard Pincus. His class at The Temple is one of several in Louisville participating in the twinning program. He’s been doing it for four years and is enthusiastic about the program and the connection he sees his students building with their Israeli counterparts. He enjoyed this visit as well.
LBSY also participates in the twinning program.
Jon and Laura Klein, Louisville’s Partnership2Gether chairs, also enjoyed the visit and the concluding program.
Members of the delegation from the Western Galilee were Karen Donner Ascher, Anat Avisrur, Etti Gimani, Gil Klempert, Galit Kohan, Ariel Lifshitz, Odelia Melamed, Etti Shostik, Efrat Srebro and Toni Ziv.