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Herzog College has been selected to partner with Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry in launching one of its flagship international projects. For the first time, there will be one organization liaising with Jewish schools throughout the world, creating a global Jewish education network.

Minister for Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich signed a 38 million shekel ($12 million) agreement with Herzog College at a ceremony this week to lead the two-year project.

The initiative includes a global educational and professional network that will work with experts and providers in different languages on matters such as the development of educational content, the training of teachers, the support of school leadership, the building of virtual platforms to share ideas and initiatives, and the provision of professional consulting services to individual schools.

The need for this initiative was recognized during the coronavirus pandemic when many communities in the Diaspora were struggling to cope with the closure of schools and the transition to virtual learning, while also facing a shortage of Jewish-studies teachers and high-quality curriculum resources.

The initiative will include the creation of connections between Jewish school students worldwide, including virtual events to strengthen relationships and connections between Jewish children in different countries, as well as establishing frameworks for dialogue between teachers and school principals with their counterparts around the world.

At the signing ceremony, Yankelevich said: “Until now, we have been reaching just 70 schools each year, but there are 1,500 Jewish schools in the world, and we want to help all of them.”

Herzog College is Israel’s leading academic institution for teacher education in the religious sector. Its international programs are headquartered in the historic Heichal Shlomo building in Jerusalem, including overseas teacher training programs for Jewish-studies teachers in English, Hebrew and Spanish, funded by the Israeli government.

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