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The GFH Department of Continuing Education: Summary of Courses for the 2014/15 (5775) academic year

  

The current academic year’s program of Continuing Education courses at the Ghetto Fighters’ House opened in November 2014. This year changes were instituted in courses to assure their authorization for teachers to receive Continuing Education credit according to recent Ministry of Education reforms.

 

Here is a review of this year's offerings:  

 

Collaboration with the Pisgah Center in Akko

All this year’s courses were held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education’s Pisgah Center for Instructional Development in Akko. Courses have been designed for educators at all levels (early childhood, elementary school, middle school and high school), as well as for the general public.  All courses are recognized in accordance with the Oz Letmura and Ofek Hadash reform programs for teachers.

 

Registration services

The Continuing Education registration procedures and course management have been reorganized and upgraded – from registration, through payment, contact with the participants, and following through with reporting credits earned to the Ministry of Education.             `

 

Successful opening of nearly all planned courses

Despite the Ministry of Education’s reforms (“Ofek Hadash” and “Oz Letmura”), which greatly limit teachers’ participation in courses offered by independent organizations (i.e. non-MoE courses), we successfully opened a large number of courses, each one having a substantial number of participants.

 

We opened 10 courses this year: five online, in which participants study via the Internet, and five classroom courses held at the Ghetto Fighters’ House. Some 350 participants registered in courses held throughout the academic year.

 

Increase in the number of online courses – Continuing Education via the Internet

 Online courses are in high demand. In order to better serve those interested in distance learning, GFH conducted five online courses this year, some accommodating multiple groups per topic. These courses enable enrollees to study from home, at the time and pace that suits them – a flexibility appreciated by teachers. Online courses also enable GFH to reach a wide participant base in every part of the country, with “virtual attendance” unlimited by location.

 

70 years since the end of WWII

The main focus of this year’s courses included: the last year of the war, the war’s end, the return to life, postwar rehabilitation, and the influence of memories of the Holocaust after 70 years:

 

  1. “Do you not know that the war is over?” The fate of Jews during the last year of the war – from displacement to rehabilitation (online course).

Course participants examined the sources of strength in Jewish DPs and refugees who tried to create for themselves a new future and to take part in build the Jewish nation. They dealt with stories of refugees at the war’s end and the miracle of their return to life and their rehabilitation. Three parallel courses were conducted, with participants from all over the country.

 

  1. “Open for us the gate!” Emigration and rescue during and after the Holocaust (online course). In this course, we examined the possibilities of emigration and escape available to Jews on the eve of the Holocaust, during it and after, and the decisions of individuals who rescued their families by means of emigration or clandestine escape – fateful decisions that continued to be made after the war, as these refugees and DPs became builders of Eretz Israel and founded new families. Two parallel courses were conducted. 

 

  1. Life on the edge: Between destruction and liberation as portrayed in films (in collaboration with Yad Vashem). This course dealt with the fate of Jews during the final year of WWII, with the process of the survivors return to life and contribution to building the State – as portrayed in documentary and feature films. Each class meeting involved viewing the films at full length, followed by a lecture given by a series of guest lecturers.

 

  1. The Holocaust – memory and identity: The memory of the Holocaust and its impact on Israeli society. This course examined the influence of the memory of the Holocaust on the generation of survivors and the second generation 70 years after the event. Participants discussed the way in which the memory of the Holocaust became a central component of Israeli society's personal and collective identity and how it influences our lives. Also evaluated were the nation’s expectations for continuing to bear the burden of collective memory on our shoulders and after us to pass it on as a legacy to coming generations.

 

In addition to the above, we also opened this year courses for early childhood educators, in collaboration with and funded by the Pisgah Center in Akko:

 

  1. “When I return and am small again” – Korczak and love of children

(partial online course: five meetings at GFH, five virtual meetings)

This course dealt with Korzcak’s unique view of the child's soul. Janusz Korczak (pediatrician and author Dr. Henryk Goldszmit) was a pioneering educator with innovative ideas well ahead of their time. The course discussed educational dilemmas about ways of observing and understanding the child’s world, from the perspective of Korczak and his educational work. The course also included practical implementation aimed at integrating Korczak’s ideas into current educational work.

 

The course attracted great interest, and two parallel courses were conducted. Participants came from all fields of education and for all age levels. This is the second year that we have offered a course combining online learning with classroom sessions plus applying course materials to actual teaching situations.

 

The participants (kindergarten and grade school educators) expressed great satisfaction with the course’s contribution to their thinking and educational work. They placed considerable emphasis on becoming acquainted with Korczak’s theories and to apply them in their work. They noted that the course gave them many practical tools for their own teaching, and expressed a desire for a follow-up course.

 

  1. “And you shall tell your sons and your daughters” – Holocaust education for young children

The course dealt with the question of whether and how to expose young children to the subject of the Holocaust. It examined how to prepare children for their encounter with the subject and with Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The course offered an educational approach for teaching about the Holocaust and tools for treating the subject according to the needs of young children and to their emotional and cognitive development.

 

Kindergarten and primary school teachers took part in the course, which also included participation in activities in classrooms of these ages on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

 

The participants described undergoing a revolution in how they related to dealing with the subject of the Holocaust with young children, and noted receiving many practical tools for their work in kindergartens and primary grades.

 

Courses for the upcoming academic year, 5776 (2015/16)

For the coming year, we are compiling a new and diverse program of courses for teachers, education professionals, and the general public. Among them:

  • An expanded range of online Continuing Education courses via the Internet
  • New courses on the topic of the Holocaust as reflected in film (in collaboration with Yad Vashem)
  • Two new courses for educators of young children (in collaboration with the Pisgah Center, Akko)

 

Further information and details on the content of the current year’s courses can be found on the Ghetto Fighters’ House website / Continuing Education Department, with this link:

http://www.gfh.org.il/?CategoryID=769

Details of next year’s courses will be available on the website in July 2015.

 

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