Schools in Pittsford and Israel Partner to Develop Global Citizens

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Melanie Ward and sixth-grade teacher Betsy Parke traveled to Israel during the February 2017 break as part of a local delegation sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

For several years, the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester has been working closely with the Jewish Federation in Modi’in, Israel, to develop partnerships between Jewish schools in the Rochester area and schools in that region. Recently, the partnership expanded to include public schools.

The Rochester delegation toured seven schools, spending time visiting classrooms and meeting with teachers and administrators. Students showed off their greenhouses and gardens and explained how they sell the produce and use the proceeds to support the gardens.

This month, Israeli educators visited our schools to make further connections and develop lesson plans with their partner teachers. This really brings home the goal of creating global citizens.

Parke is partnering with a teacher at Idanim School in Modi’in. PCSD students will soon be reading the same themed literature, viewing and critiquing the same works of art and exchanging ideas with students in Israel via a secure blog site.

This is so much more than the pen-pal assignments of long ago. This project is curriculum-based, and as relationships develop among students, we expect they will also grasp the deeper lesson that kids are kids, no matter where they live.

This program is made possible through the financial support and coordination of the Education Bridge of Partnership2Gether sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.