For the past two years, York University has had a thriving partnership with Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School, and the link continues to flourish.
“York students are a strong presence in the school,” said Professor Marty Lockshin, director of York’s Centre for Jewish Studies.
Right: Marty Lockshin
“Ten per cent of Rothberg undergrads have come from York, and interest is increasing. An Ontario program [The Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund] that matches dollar-for-dollar any funds raised for scholarships has benefited students enormously.”
Now York has a new agreement with Hebrew University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education, which allows York education students to teach in Israeli schools.
Daniel Held, in his fourth year of a double-major program in York’s Jewish Teacher Education and Business & Society, is doing a teaching practicum through the Melton Centre in a Grade 8 class of a Hebrew-language, secular public high school in Israel.
He thought the main challenge of teaching in an Israeli classroom would be the language. In fact, he said, “the real issue is our cultural differences.” He described the day-to-day classes as “chaos”, with students running all over the room, “copying each other’s tests, stealing each other’s papers, yelling out answers….”
However, he got an entirely opposite impression of his students during an air-raid. When the drill came, “suddenly, order, efficiency and organization reigned. The older students were given the responsibility of marshalling. Within just a few minutes, the buildings had been evacuated and all the students were safely in the sports field.”
Without scholarships from Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and York, “I simply wouldn’t be in Israel this year,” said Held. “The assistance they offered enabled me to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to learn and teach and experience personal growth and professional development.”
Right, from the left: York students Reuth Abraham and Ian Brojges (both in the bachelor of education program at York), Daniel Held, Professor Marty Lockshin and Ariel Greenbaum-Shinder (in the York bachelor of education program)