Educational Programs from The Koret International School of Jewish Peoplehood Studies
My Family Story
My Family Story, Beit Hatfutsot’s flagship international program is celebrating its 22nd year. Students 10-14 years of age, from all over the world, explore their family stories. It culminates in an annual international competition award ceremony and the celebration of the diversity and the shared history and purpose of the Jewish people. It is currently implemented in Jewish communities worldwide involving 20,000 students and their families. It is being implemented in 50 Jewish Learning Centers across North America. This flagship cultural, educational and experiential program was designed by the forward-thinking educators and curators of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot. It guides participants through the discovery of their family origins, the beginning of the creation of a family tree and invites them to submit artistic displays, based on their roots research, to an international competition associated with the program.
Participating schools in the US include:
- Sinai Akiba Academy, Los Angeles, CA
- Sinai Temple Religious School, Los Angeles, CA
- Congregation Alberts School of Jewish Studies, Albuquerque, NM
- Chabad Hebrew School. Dobbs Ferry, NY
- North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
- Hillel Yeshiva, Ocean, NJ
- Michael Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, North Miami Beach, FL
- Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore, MD
- Breitman Chabad Hebrew School, Basking Ridge, NJ
- Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel, The Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School, South Orange, NJ
- Tzofim- Shevet Harel Scouts, Valley Village, CA
- Ken Jewish Community, San Diego, CA
- Jewish Academy of Orlando, Maitland, FL
- Bolton Street Synagogue Religious School, Baltimore, MD
- Temple Beth Israel, Fresno, CA
- New York Hebrew, New York, NY
- The Family Hebrew Home School, Atlanta, GA
- Congregation Bet El Sunbury, Sunbury, PA
- San Diego Jewish Academy, San Diego, CA
- Shalom School. Sacramento, CA
- Beth Tfiloh Middle School, Baltimore, MD
Curating Your Family Story
Supported by a grant from the Covenant Foundation, and designed with Jewish Museums and JCCS in mind, Curating Your Family Story adds a new dimension to My Family Story, of creating a collective art project and narrative which will be shared with The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot. Our goal is to provide transformative programming to families that may not be affiliated with traditional Jewish learning centers. Rabbi Micah Hyman an educator, Rabbi and Jewish art expert has been the educational consultant for the project in the United States.
Launched in 2016, the following centers have participated:
- The William Breman Museum of Jewish Heritage in Atlanta
- The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco
- The Stroum JCC, Mercer Islands, Seattle, WA
To quote Julie Grigoryan, who implemented CYFS at CJM “The Contemporary Jewish Museum is so happy to be a part of this project, as it is such a vital part of our mission to offer a diverse group of youth and families ways to explore their heritage and share their stories. I was really struck by the transformative experience for each of the participating students and their families. At the start, there was a lot of apprehension about how to tackle the large undertaking of roots research; who to interview, what to ask, how to cull a story and a work of art from all the information. In the end, each participant shared such beautiful, collaborative, and intimate pieces of their family stories, I felt honored to be a part of it all.”
Generation to Generation is a program whereby two different generations are linked via high tech and history. It is based on a successful Israeli initiative undertaken by The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministries of Education and Social Equality. Jewish students are paired with Jewish seniors for mutually beneficial learning. The adults broaden their Internet and computer skills, while the young students learn the value of personal and collective narratives. Together they enrich their Jewish identity, history, collective memory and technical skills.
G2G has been instituted at over 400 schools throughout Israel, reaching 10,000 participants annually. It addresses intergenerational relations and tolerance, ageism in the community, and Jewish peoplehood. The partners meet regularly in a school or community setting, where the students help the older generation broaden their Internet and computer skills, while the adults introduce the students to their life stories – their background, values and heritage. Each pair together documents a chapter in the fascinating story of the Jewish people, which is then posted online as part of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot’s collection of the greater ongoing story of the Jewish people.
Building on its success in Israel, this valuable program is being brought to Jewish communities in the US.
The Jewish Lens
The Koret School (ISJPS) is dedicated to education that cultivates an informed and active sense of belonging to the Jewish people. To further this vision, ISJPS has partnered with popular international photographer, Zion Ozeri, renowned for photographing the Jewish people and Jewish themes. Together, we have initiated the Jewish Lens @ Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition.
This international competition invites Jewish teens aged 15-18 to submit a photograph with an accompanying text that captures the theme of “my connection to the Jewish people”. Finalists will win prizes on behalf of the institutions they represent.
Bring a ready curated photo exhibit to your community. These exhibits are offered at no cost, with the intention of sharing Beit Hatfutsot’s vast collection of over 400,000 black and white images depicting Jewish history, heritage and communal life across the globe. These Capsule Exhibits offer a unique opportunity to enrich your communal space while engaging students, visitors and or congregational members. The displays serve as a launching pad for additional educational programming.
Participants so far:
- The Simon Family JCC in Virginia Beach, VA
- Hillel of Orange County in Irvine, CA
Join our family of friends of Beit Hatfutsot. Contributions to the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
Shula Bahat, CEO, Beit Hatfutsot of America:
Gloria Golan, Executive Director, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot: