Schultz Family Israel Educator Fellows named

Program deepens connection between educators and Israel

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas has announced the latest cohort of The Schultz Family Israel Educator Fellowship, focusing on Jewish youth engagement and camp professionals. In partnership with The iCenter, the Schultz Family Israel Educator Fellowship combines leadership training, Israel education and a 10-day Israel experience planned for this fall, as COVID-19 travel restrictions ease. 

“We are thrilled to launch the newest cohort of the Schultz Fellows,” said program founder Jaynie Schultz. “We are proud to support our community’s youth engagement professionals. Their important work has lifelong impact on thousands of young Jews and we are proud to support them through this program.”

The cohort kicked off with a session focused on building community among the Fellows and an exploration of their personal connections to Israel with the assistance of learning resources created by The iCenter. These resources included The Aleph Bet of Israel Education, the preeminent set of core principles, approaches to content, and essential pedagogies that help create high-quality, meaningful Israel education. Follow-up sessions will focus on interactive workshops, and connections to projects and organizations in Israel with whom the Dallas Jewish Community partners. 

“This experience is such a gift, both professionally and personally. I am excited to continue to develop my skills as an educator and learn new techniques, to explore the impact of immersive experiences, and to connect with other area Jewish educators,” said Melissa Essler, assistant director of URJ Greene Family Camp and a member of the new cohort. “It is empowering to know that this group of educators will be bringing deep, immersive and high-quality Israel education opportunities to the Dallas area for years to come.”

Created in 2013 for educators, leaders and engagement professionals working at Jewish organizations and agencies throughout Dallas, the program brings high quality and innovative Israel education to the community. The immersive programming enables Fellows to deepen their relationship with the land and people of Israel and to infuse Israeli education into the culture of their organization.

“I am grateful to work on this program for the Schultz Family and to honor the memory of visionary philanthropist, Leslie Schultz z”l.” said Peta Silansky, Israel and Overseas manager for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. “I have seen how this experience has infused Israel into the culture of our community, as well as deepening the knowledge and personal relationship that each Fellow has with Israel. This group of youth engagement professionals will engage in thoughtful and intentional programming that they can share within their organization and the community. Working with The iCenter provides meaningful opportunities for the Fellows to gain tremendous insight and varied perspectives of Israel education. It is an honor to partner with them and the Schultz Family to lead this new cohort.”

“With many children looking forward to returning to Jewish camp this summer, this is an especially timely and important cohort of Fellows.” adds Anne Lanski, CEO of The iCenter. “We value the relationship with the Dallas Jewish Community to infuse meaningful Israel education throughout their community through the Schultz Fellowship.” 

The latest cohort of The Schultz Family Israel Educator Fellowship, focusing on Jewish youth engagement and camp professionals includes:

Chana Ben-Abraham, NCSY/ JSU (Jewish Student Union)

Livia Bernstein, Temple Emanu-El Dallas, Youth Learning + Engagement

Melissa Bernstein, Center for Jewish Education, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas

Rachel Blum, Congregation Anshai Torah

Philip Cramer, BBYO

Morgan Ducar, Temple Shalom / Greene Family Camp

Melissa Essler, Union for Reform Judaism – Greene Family Camp

Esther Feldman, Akiba Yavneh Academy

Jonathan Goldstein, Adat Chaverim

Steven Itskovich, Ann & Nate Levine Academy

Alise Robinson, Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas, Youth Performing Arts Program

Marco Rodriguez, Summer@Levine

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