Leadership Development Programs
A core part of TALI’s mission is building meaningful connections with the principals and educators of TALI schools who may not yet have a meaningful connection to Jewish studies. We seek to impact their approach to teaching Judaism and Jewish concepts. This missions require time, in-depth learning and dialogue. To support educators TALI offers three significant leadership programs:
- MA in Jewish Studies
The program, a two-year in-service professional development course, was established sixteen years ago to develop competent and professional educational leadership, conversant with Jewish texts and the language of Jewish education. The program provides practical skills in Jewish education appropriate to the largely non-observant population of TALI schools. Meeting one full day a week, the program is open to TALI teachers, Jewish studies coordinators and principals. Courses are credited towards an M.A. degree in Jewish Education and are taught by the Schechter Institute faculty. To date, 265 TALI teachers and principals have graduated from the program, with approximately 200 completing the M.A. program in Jewish Studies at the Schechter Institute.
Halleli (Invitation to Study of Israeli Judaism) is designed especially for principals and other leaders in TALI schools who already have MA degrees and are interested in deepening their Jewish knowledge. The program is built around 25 afternoon sessions during the school year as well as a week’s study in the United States. The trip is an opportunity to see and experience American Jewish communities’ characteristics and differences and strengthen ties between the two countries.
The first cohort opened in 2016 with the participation of 12 principals from Northern Israel.
In 2017 two new cohorts began: the first for principals in Israel’s central and southern regions and the second for TALI coordinators in the North. Nearly 45 educators have participated.
Except for the cost of a plane ticket to the United States, these professional development programs are funded entirely by the TALI Foundation.
- Outstanding Aspiring Educators Program
This year a new experimental program opened in cooperation with Seminar Kibbutzim (Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts) in Tel Aviv.
The initiative stems from the desire to support students in four year B. Ed. Programs to learn and develop professionally in Jewish education. We locate outstanding students in their final undergraduate year and offer them an additional day of study focusing on Jewish and Israeli identity issues. Students have a year-long internship in TALI schools that includes one day a week of mentoring and supervision. TALI supplements this with rich Jewish content.
In exchange for this effort students receive a living stipend, a free professional development day and certificates as Jewish-Israeli cultural studies experts. If the experimental program with Kibbutzim College is fruitful, we will strive to replicate it in other teachers’ colleges.
TALI School Rabbis and Spiritual Counselors
The TALI School Rabbis Program adds a critical dimension of spiritual education to the TALI school network by providing non-observant children, teachers, and parents with positive educational and spiritual experiences with rabbis. The rabbis represent a new type of role model for the pupils and their parents – one of a tolerant and open-minded spiritual educator who relates to them in a language and style that is at once inclusive and conducive to their modes of learning. Some schools have a school rabbi assigned to them, and others choose from a menu of services that a school rabbi can provide.
A welcome addition to TALI’s online presence is the Spiritual Education Laboratory, a wealth of resources including texts, spiritual education terminology, music, film and links to related sites.