SAE’s “Education in Israel Today” Sessions Touch on Key Issues Facing Educators in Israel & Beyond

SAE Academic Leaders Thoughtfully Address Pluralism, Gender Equity, Preparing All Students for Success, Teaching to Respect the Environment and More.  All Sessions are available for viewing.

In three live online Zoom conversations in June and July, academic experts and practioners from the Society for Advancement of Education discussed a series of key and current educational topics with their colleagues and SAE supporters in the U.S. and Israel. Links to all sessions are included in this article.

Each one-hour conversation featured SAE’s bright and passionate SAE teachers and program directors engaged in lively conversation with Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, the Executive Director of the American Friends of Kidum, SAE’s U.S. fund-raising and support arm, and responding to questions from attendees. The SAE experts not only demonstrated their deep knowledge of the subjects, but their clear focus on doing what’s best for students.

Topics and featured speakers on were:


Ruthie Hadad — Lead Teacher, K.A.N. Community High School — K.A.N. established in 2014, serves boys and girls from secular, traditional and religious homes and advocates shared living among a variety of Jewish backgrounds. “Pluralism is an active word.” … “Judiasm is not owned by any one sector of the community.”


Naama Shostak SingalLead Teacher, Shacharit High School — Shacharit High School, launched in Fall 2020, is the first co-ed religious (orthodox) high school in Israel in the spirit of High Tech High (HTH). “Once you have met someone from a different background, it breaks down your ability to label them.”

Watch the Pluralism session now.


Yael Boim Fein — Founder & Director, The Israeli Institute for Gender Equity in Education — Created in 2019, the Institute promotes gender equitable space in Israel’s education system so that students of all genders have the right to realize their full potential. “Gender equity is a major issue at all SAE schools.” … “We help teachers take a more balanced approach in co-ed classrooms.”

Miriam Leibowitz-Assaraf — Founder & Principal, Inbar Leadership School for Girls — The first secular leadership school for girls in Israel was founded in 2019 to empower girls to grow into influential female leaders and promotes excellence through the lens of gender equity. “At Inbar we have created an environment where girls can realize their full potential and become anything they want to be. We help girls spread their wings.”

Innovative Programs in Haredi Education

Yisrael Rieder Assistant Principal, Da’at Tuvnot Yeshiva — Established in 2013 as an innovative Yeshiva high school for mainstream, ultra-orthodox (Haredi) boys, Da’atTuvnot combines traditional Jewish studies with a general academic curriculum. “We see every student as an individual.” … “Our non-formal, extra enrichment programs make us truly unique.”

Ruchama RotmanScience teacher, Shoshanim Science and Arts High School for Haredi Girls — Founded in 2019, Shoshanim is the first 4-year high school in Israel for Haredi girls focused on science and the arts and attaining a full matriculation certificate. “Teaching for the Bagrut and our high level science program makes us truly unique.” … “In five years hopefully there will be other schools around Israel offering this opportunity to Haredi girls.”

Watch the Haredi Education Program now. 

Arab Education and the Ground-Breaking Arab Youth Village for Leadership

Dr. Ayman AgbariaChairman of the Steering Committee, Sindiana Arab Youth Village for Excellence — Sindiana, founded in 2017 as a partnership between SAE and the nearby Arab communities, is dedicated to developing young leaders for the Israeli Arab community. “One of our key goals is to reinforce the student’s Arab culture and heritage, to help them formulate their own identity, while also recognizing that part of that identity is being a citizen of Israel.” 

Ali Haider, Adv — Director of Programs and Initiatives, Society for Advancement of Education —  Ali is the founder of Sindiana. “Our role as educators is to expose our students to an array of ideas, of choices, of different cultures, of competing political, economic and social viewpoints, and then help give them the tools and confidence to make their own decisions.”

Watch the Arab Education Program now. 

Personalized Instruction for All Students

Eden Israeli – Director of Learning Development, Society for Advancement of Education — Primarily responsible for The Niot Program, which provides learning centers for students who need special attention, and Hidden Sparks, a training program for teachers which provides them with the tools and knowledge to work with students with different learning styles. “Teachers need to understand that they are teaching skills, not knowledge. Students need to know how to distill all the information that’s available to solve problems.”

Michal Shavit — Director of Pegagogical Development, Society for Advancement of Education — Primarily responsible for developing new schools in the SAE portfolio, each with different aims, different student target and different ways of teaching and learning. She has launched five new schools, and supervised two curriculum overhauls in two other schools, in the past eight years. “Our goal is to take each student as high as he or she can to the best place he and she can reach.”

Watch the Personalized Instruction Program now. 

Meeting New Challenges — Two New SAE High Schools

Mumik Nevo — Founding Principal, Sustainability and Social Responsibility High School — This new co-ed high school for students from all sectors of Israeli society opens on the Steinberg campus in Kfar Saba in Fall 2021. It will be the first school in Israel to focus on offering courses and creating a culture to prepare students to live in and contribute to a world in which we protect our resources and respect others. “We will teach students how to think about the future and how to act in the present to nurture our environment. And we will inspire students to be part of something bigger than themselves and to take care of others.”

Shacher Yanai — Founding Principal, New International Baccalaurate High School — This new co-ed school, with courses in English for 11th and 12th graders, will welcome students from Israel and worldwide when it opens in Fall 2022 on the Boyar campus in Jerusalem. It will grant International Baccalaurate degrees, diplomas recognized by universities around the globe. “One of our unique courses, the theory of knowledge, will expand student horizons, inspire critical thinking and a love of inquiry and reflection.” 

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