Pictured above: Mina Rush, director of community engagement at StandWithUs.
StandWithUs has a new initiative for middle school. “LINK: Discovering Your Israel Connection” is a 6-lesson unit that allows students to explore the historic Jewish roots to Israel while discovering their own personal, modern connection. After a successful pilot program, LINK is now in 122 schools nationwide. Director of Community Engagement at StandWithUs, Mina Rush, is making Arizona a priority for 2019.
Through a sophisticated, interactive, online application, LINK was developed by teachers, curriculum writers and internet experts who understand the need for a dynamic, educational experience of this kind. The outcome is a platform designed to enable students to determine for themselves, through experiential and project-based learning, their own, unique Israel connection. Students discover an Israel not usually found in traditional Jewish curricula; an Israel whose actions are informed by Jewish values and reflect the best of what matters to today’s youth. They learn about an Israel that is diverse, where humanitarian aid is a priority, and where there are opportunities for refugees and economic migrants. They are inspired by an Israel whose innovations and technologies are improving and saving lives throughout the world.
“The motivation behind this endeavor was to create a program that could reverse Jewish students’ diminishing relationship to Israel as evidenced by recent polls,” says Mina. “My experience showed that traditional methods of teaching did not always achieve the desired results. I realized that students are best able to connect when the material represents their core values. This realization led to the direction that LINK has taken.”
To learn more about the curriculum and to schedule a demonstration, visit IsraelLink.org or contact minar@IsraelLink.org.